x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Dubai prosecutor judged to be world's best

An international organisation has named one of Dubai's prosecutors as the best in the world.

DUBAI // A Dubai prosecutor who has won more than 3,500 cases involving fraud, breach of trust, murder, cybercrime, embezzlement and corruption, has been awarded the honour of being the world's best prosecutor.

Ahmed Murad Ahmed, the deputy chief public funds prosecutor, received the award from the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) last month.

It was the first time the award had been handed out and a statement issued by the association said: "This honour is a reflection of the efforts put in place by the Public Funds Prosecution and the Dubai Public Prosecution in effectively combating crime."

Mr Murad received the award during a ceremony at the IAP world summit in Seoul, South Korea. Prosecutors from Sweden, Greece, Croatia and Afghanistan were also named.

According to the IAP, the award recognises prosecutors who excel domestically and internationally in fighting crime and promoting international co-operation and human rights.

Mr Murad, who speaks fluent Arabic, English, French, Greek and Hindi, was nominated by the Dubai Attorney General's office after he won the Dubai Government Excellence award last year.

Mr Murad, 40, started his career with the Dubai Public Prosecution in 2002 as a prosecutor for the Deira and Al Rifaa districts before being named a senior prosecutor in 2004. He was appointed deputy chief public funds and monetary crimes prosecutor five years later.

"In Dubai, we have been leading with development. This has been reflected on us as staff by the opportunities and confidence placed by the authorities," Mr Murad said.

According to the IAP, the difficulty and special nature of a prosecutor's tasks were considered, as well as the particular criminal justice system and unique situation of each region, when it decided who would receive the award.

Among the cases Mr Murad worked on was the Dh3.6 billion fraud investigation conducted by the Dubai Public Prosecution in 2008 and 2009 that netted more than a dozen high-level government decision makers and private investors who illegally profited during Dubai's boom years.

He said a case that stood out was the investigation involving Aladdin travels.

"The travel agency had for years been grafting customers by selling them holiday packages abroad, and when the client arrives he discovered that the funds they paid have been returned by the company," he said.

"Numerous people were stuck abroad with no money or places to stay."

"The holidaymakers filed numerous criminal complaints against the company and those who managed it, but the courts referred them to civil cases and acquitted them."

But Mr Murad continued to doggedly pursue his case.

The owners of the agency and its staff continued with their scams during the holiday seasons for three years, taking advantage of the acquittals and using them in court to gain more acquittals as further cases were lodged against them, he said.

"After the company continued to graft customers for three years, I headed an investigation team that collected information and evidence from Thailand and other countries and managed to file a detailed case that resulted with a conviction for the managers and staff who defrauded the customers," he said.

The suspects were sentenced to a total of 11 years in jail and a large fine, he said.

"This created a positive impact on the holiday travel market, barring other agencies from committing the same crime," he said.

amustafa@thenational.ae