x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Couple accused of forging marriage certificates for prostitutes

A couple face jail on charges of issuing forged marriage certificates to Iraqi women who came to Dubai to work as prostitutes.

DUBAI // A verdict is expected later this month against a couple facing jail if convicted of issuing forged marriage certificates to Iraqi women who came to Dubai to work as prostitutes. The defendants IA, 45, and his wife, SM, 36, are accused of forging official stamps from the immigration departments of Dubai ports, Dubai International Airport and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sharjah.

Four women were charged with prostitution and facilitating the act. All have denied the charges. IA told Judge Hamad Abdel Latif at the Criminal Court of First Instance, that he had also been charged in a related case at the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours. "They have charged me in two different courts with the same charge for the same case, your honour." The judge said the matter would be reviewed before judgment.

MA, one of the women charged, denied allegations in court yesterday. "I am married, my husband is Emirati, and I just want the court to drop the charges," she said. The women charged with prostitution are aged between 18 and 26. Prosecution records show that the 18-year-old confessed to investigators that she had been brought from her home in Baghdad to the Emirates posing as a married woman, and worked as a prostitute.

An investigator from the Dubai Immigration Department said he received a tip and obtained a warrant from the Sharjah Public Prosecutor's office to search the couple's property. Investigators recovered a number of certificates, forgery materials and stamps as well as images of forged certificates from the defendants' computers. . The women were released on bail and IA was remanded until the verdict is issued on January 18.

amustafa@thenational.ae