Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 13 November 2019

Duped Dubai man's Dh25 million villa sold without his knowledge, court hears

The home owner was allegedly conned by a man he had hired to organise the decoration of the property

The owner of the villa was told it was sold for half its value. The National
The owner of the villa was told it was sold for half its value. The National

A shocked home owner returned from a trip away to find his multi-million dirham villa had been sold by a team of tricksters he hired to help decorate the property, a court heard.

The victim had enlisted the help of an Uzbek man he had known for two years to organise refurbishment work and find him another home to lease.

He agreed to appoint the man, 33, as power of attorney to allow him to complete the tasks while he was travelling in February of last year.

But the man and his accomplices, two businessmen, 33 and 54, from Russia and Saint Kitts and Nevis, instead pushed through the sale of the villa for half its market value, Dubai Criminal Court heard.

The court heard the owner had given the Uzbek defendant power of attorney over matters relating to the decoration of the home, only for him to create a forged version of the document granting him the right to execute the sale of the home, valued at between Dh17 and Dh25 million.

“Because I’m travelling constantly, I gave him a power of attorney but only allowing him to follow up on the redecoration work at the villa, not to sell it,” the owner stated in court records.

Last October, however, a friend told him he had spotted his home advertised for sale online.

The owner went to the villa, where he found the unwitting buyer making himself at home.

“He told me he bought it for half its price,” said the owner.

The owner reported the matter to police, who soon discovered the Uzbek accused had fled the country.

Investigations revealed he and his accomplices had forged a new power of attorney and other documents, including the owner's passport.

They allegedly submitted the faked documentation to the land department in order to register the villa in the buyer's name.

All three men face charges of forgery and using forged documentation.

The Uzbek man's -co-accused denied the charges at court, while he remains at large.

The case was adjourned until September 23.

Updated: September 8, 2019 12:50 PM

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