x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

College accountant forged Dh16 million worth of cheques, Dubai court hears

A college accountant was charged in absentia after being accused of embezzling Dh15.7 million and forging 197 cheques, a Dubai court hears.

DUBAI // An accountant fled the country after embezzling almost Dh16 million by altering cheques written by a Dubai college to pay its bills, the Criminal Court heard yesterday.

Prosecutors said that AD, a 37-year-old Indian, forged nine cheques the college wrote to pay the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) worth Dh4.7 million and 48 cheques written to phone operator, du, worth Dh4m.

He also altered 75 cheques issued to a shipping firm worth Dh4.5m, and 60 issued to cover other expenses worth Dh2.5m.

Prosecutors said that AD forged nine cheques issued to Dewa by altering the name of the recipient, as his own name has the same letters as those in the authority's acronym.

The college's British director, RH, 71, said that the forged cheques were written between 2010 and last year. "When we asked the accountant for the documents he kept stalling, claiming there was an error in the electronic system," said the director, who then checked the system and found it to be working properly.

But by the time the fraudulent activity was uncovered, the accountant had fled the country.

He was charged in absentia with forgery and embezzlement.

The next hearing was scheduled for November 8.

salamir@thenational.ae