x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Businessman ‘cheated partners out of Dh4.6m’ in Sharjah cinema deal

His business partners claim they only realised he had stolen the money when they turned up at the mall to discover that construction had not begun.

DUBAI // A businessman who signed a deal to build a cinema in a Sharjah mall cheated his partners out of Dh4.6 million, a court has heard.

Indians V B, 51, and N K, 42, said they only discovered that Emirati A A, 32, had stolen the money when they turned up at the site where building had not begun.

N K told Dubai Criminal Court that he and V B had met A A in November 2011 and agreed to build the cinema at the mall.

In January 2012, the defendant sent his business partners cost estimates from his company.

They approved and agreed on Dh13.4m as capital for a new construction company. The next month they registered the company, with A A owning 51 per cent.

“V B wired Dh3.2m and I sent construction materials worth Dh1.6m to A A, which he used in another business venture of his,” said N K.

V B testified: “I came back to the UAE in November 2012 to check up on the work and when I visited the mall, I discovered that there was no construction.”

He spoke to A A, who showed receipts and cheques that seemed to prove everything was above board. But V B was suspicious.

“I went to see the mall administration. They told me they only received an initial payment worth Dh200,000 and nothing more,” he said.

“I also visited a consultant that was paid by our company only to find out that he was not paid by A A. When I checked the bank records, I found out that A A withdrew large amounts of money and he never deposited any.

“I confronted A A and demanded that he pay back the money, but he denied any wrongdoing.”

The Emirati is also charged with forging receipts for Dh350,000. On Monday, he denied all charges and the next hearing was set for May 29.

newsdesk@thenational.ae