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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 October 2018

Brothers offered Dh25,000 bribe to government worker to win building contract in Dubai, court hears  

Contracting company chiefs accused of promising 'reward' to Ministry of Health employee for sealing deal  

A pair of businessman brothers offered a Dh25,000 'reward' to a Ministry of Health worker to win a renovation contract at a Dubai hospital, a court heard.

But the plan backfired when the government employee teamed up with police to expose the bribe, Dubai Criminal Court was told.

Court records show that the MoH employee called police after one of the two Indian partners promised him the cash payment if he helped their company win the bid over seven competing companies.

The ministry opened the door for bids for a renovation project at the children ward and theatre at Al Qasimi hospital. “Eight contracting companies submitted their bids including that of the defendants,” said the Egyptian medical equipment engineer, 30.

He said that before the bids were reviewed by the ministry, the 45-year-old defendant called him. “He asked me to help him and his partner win this bid and if I did he would give me a good reward. I said alright and hung up and then called the police,” said the engineer.

Dubai Police’s CID directed him to call the men and ask about the nature of the reward. His calls were being recorded by police.

“I spoke to them and one of them told me that I would be paid Dh50,000 if I helped them, but then the other said no it will be only Dh25,000,” said the engineer.

He said that the men told him if he helped them win more bids in the future, they would continue to reward him for it.

The men allegedly promised to hand him a first payment of Dh5,000 once they were officially informed of winning the bid then another Dh10,000 when they start the project, while the remaining Dh10,000 would be paid upon the completion of the project.

“I was directed by police to ask for an upfront payment so I did and when I met with them at the ministry’s car park and they paid me, police arrested them,” said the employee.

Prosecutors said that the defendants admitted the offence during questioning.

Both men, however, denied a bribery charge at court.

The next hearing will be held on July 24.