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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Brit accused of faking a trade licence and embezzling Dh1.37m 

The licence was attributed to the Abu Dhabi Economic Department

A British national produced a fake Abu Dhabi trade license before embezzling Dh1.37 million in a bogus business deal, prosecutors told Dubai Criminal Court last Thursday.

According to court records, the victim, another British national, 47, said that in December, 2013, he struck an agreement with the defendant. The defendant was to help him cancel the license of his human resources consultation firm in Dubai, and then help him to reopen a new company under the same name in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

As per the agreement, the alleged victim wired the defendant money using multiple transfers during 2014 and 2015, amounting to Dh1.37m. The accused was supposed to, he said, use the money to facilitate the required licensing administration.

Prosecutors said the defendant, whose age and profession were not disclosed in records, forged a copy of a trade licence for a human resources consultation company that was valid from January 2016 to January 2017, and attributed to the Abu Dhabi Economic Department. It was then emailed to the complainant, 47, and the Dh1,377,630 fee was fully transferred, court records show.

When the 47-year-old visited the Abu Dhabi Economic Department for further procedures, however, he was notified that the licence was in fact fake.

According to court records, the defendant was summoned by police and questioned after the 47-year-old reported the forgery. The defendant told prosecutors that only Dh178,000 had been received from the accuser and that no licence had been forged.

“I agreed with a company that works in facilitating and finalising government procedures to handle the cancellation and reissuing of the license. I emailed him what the company gave me, but it didn't include a fake license,” said the defendant during questioning.

The victim’s friend, an Indian legal consultant, 30, said he had witnessed an agreement between the two parties, after which his friend had transferred the money to the accused.

The defendant did not attend court to face charges of forgery, the use of forged documents and embezzlement of Dh1.37m.

The next hearing will be on January 29 to summon the defendant.