x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Additional charges prolong jail for four counterfeiters

Four men convicted of passing counterfeit dirhams have been kept in jail for more than a year, facing additional charges each time police found more notes. There have been 66 cases so far.

Abu Dhabi // Four men convicted of passing counterfeit dirhams have been kept in jail for more than a year, facing additional charges each time police found more notes. There have been 66 cases so far. NF, a Syrian, was arrested in Al Ain last year and charged after the police caught him trying to use the fake currency. He was sentenced to six months in prison in February last year by the Federal Supreme Court.

Although he has completed his sentence, he has remained in prison because of the additional charges. He now faces 17 different charges and has been acquitted in nine cases. He told the court it was unfair to prolong his sentence by trying each charge individually. "Let's assume I did the first one - I would have left the prison by now," the Syrian said in court. "I wish the cases are tried all at once so I can be done with the whole thing."

The second defendant, TM, 23, a Palestinian, was named in 15 cases after police arrested him trying to use a fake Dh500 (US$136) note while shopping with his two wives. He claimed he had loaned money to his friend who repaid him with the fake currency. He has been in prison for eight months. The two other defendants, both Syrians, are also accused of trafficking in the same counterfeit currency. The two have been acquitted in nine cases each, because the court found they were not personally trafficking the money and there was no evidence they produced the fake notes, according to previous court sessions.

Although all the men were arrested at different times last year, prosecutors have accused them of being associated because the notes they carried had the same characteristics. @Email:hhassan@thenational.ae myoussef@thenational.ae