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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Appeals court refuses to overturn acquittal of three bankers in $10m forgery case

The court acquitted them of charges of accepting bribes, forging documents and using forged documents

Prosecutors have lost an appeal against the acquittal of three bankers who were accused of accepting US$10 million (Dh36.7m) in bribes from a man in return for altering bank documents.

The men - two Pakistanis, 26 and 33, and a Filipino, 35 - worked for HSBC and between June and November 2015 they allegedly forged a number of documents for a Nigerian man for money.

The court acquitted them of charges of accepting bribes, forging documents and using forged documents. The Nigerian man was also acquitted of a charge of aiding and abetting the men by offering them money.

A Lebanese witness told the court that the forgeries came to light on December 8, 2015, as part of a loan application at an HSBC branch in South Africa. The branch sent an email to the Dubai Shaikh Zayed Road branch to check the validity of the one of the letters.

It was not mentioned whether the loan applications were approved, processed or paid.

Prosecutors said the three men admitted to the crime during investigations; however, they denied charges in criminal and appeal courts and were found not guilty by both courts.