x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

3-year jail term upheld for Dubai tourism inspector in bribery case

A department of tourism inspector who demanded a Dh50,000 bribe to overlook violations in a hotel has his three-year jail term upheld by the Appeals Court.

DUBAI // A Department of Tourism inspector who demanded bribes to overlook hotel violations had his three-year jail term upheld by the Appeals Court today.

KM, 44, an Emirati, would visit hotels and issue them violation tickets then offer to cancel them in return for bribes of up to Dh50,000. He was caught in a police sting operation in which undercover officers watched as he received Dh25,000 from the owner of a five-star hotel he had targeted.

Following his arrest, police also detained the owner of another hotel, the Fortune Grand Hotel, after finding out that he had paid such a bribe.

The owner said he was introduced to the inspector in February 2011 through his partner.

"I found out that my partner had paid the inspector Dh25,000. When I asked him why, he said that it was so he would overlook any violations in our hotel," he said.

He added that the inspector said he needed money because his real estate company had debts due. "He called my partner again in March telling him he wrote a cheque worth Dh35,000 that bounced and that he desperately needed more money or he would be fired."

At his original trial at the Criminal Court, the inspector denied seeking bribes, saying he "asked for the money as a loan".

The Criminal Court also fined the inspector Dh75,000 and this sentence was also upheld by the Appeals Court.