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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

Corrupt police officer accepts bribes to alter residency status

Officer jailed for three years after forging hundreds of residency infringement documents

A corrupt cop who accepted nearly Dh800,000 in bribes over a five-year period to falsify the residency status of more than 500 people has been jailed.

The Emirati officer, who worked at the detention and deportation section of the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department, accepted Dh767,000 in payments from August 2007 to August 2012 to switch the status of residency law offenders to deportees, while they were still in the country.

His actions cost the department Dh2 million in fees which would have been paid by the offenders before they were deported from the UAE.

The case was first brought to court in January 2017, when the defendant was 27.

He accepted the money from an Omani man, whose age was not disclosed, in return for forging the documents of 571 people.

The defendant denied charges of taking bribes, forgery and using forged documents but was convicted at Dubai Criminal Court and handed a three-year prison sentence.

The Omani defendant was also sentenced to three years in prison to be followed by deportation on charges of offering bribes and abetting.

Court records stated that the officer pocketed between Dh1,000 and Dh3,000 for each application he forged.

He used the username and password of an Emirati police corporal, 32, who was also handed a three-year jail term on charges of aiding and abetting.

A witness - whose name, nationality and age were not given - said in records that he questioned the officer who admitted to the crime and told him that he and the Omani defendant had a secret code which they used in order to avoid writing anything in text messages that may give their scheme away.

“He would send the Omani the word 'bull' to show that he issued departure permits, and the word 'sheep' if he successfully issued a temporary closure of files of some individuals who have offended residency laws,” said the witness.

An official letter from the department said that the defendants caused a loss of more than Dh2m in unpaid fees by committing the forgeries, which resulted in offenders having their applications processed without paying the fees.

The three men were fined Dh150,000 each.