x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Counterfeit cash conviction earns nine-month term

Man tried to spend fake notes at petrol station, according to State Security Court records.

ABU DHABI // A Syrian man was convicted today in State Security Court of using counterfeit money to fill his diesel tanker at a petrol station.

Mohammed Obaid was sentenced by the State Security Court to one year in prison followed by deportation. The verdict cannot be appealed. 

The court found him guilty of using the money while knowing it was forged. He had denied knowing the notes were bogus. He claimed he had sold a half-hectare of land in Al Salhya, a Syrian town adjacent to the Iraqi border, to a man from the province of Raqqa.

The buyer paid him half the money, 80,000 Syrian pounds, and gave him the rest in dirhams two days before Obaid travelled back to the UAE. 

A few days later, Obaid said, he went to a petrol station in Abu Dhabi to fill a diesel tanker he owned, but a Pakistani man at the station told him the money was fake.

Obaid insisted the money was not fake and asked the attendant to call police. He told the court he waited for the police to come, but would have run away if he had known the money were fake.  

His lawyer said Obaid did not know the money was forged and that it was handed to him outside the country. 

He has already served seven months in prison and is due to be released in two months.

hhassan@thenational.ae