x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Employees at gas company stole secrets, charges say

Three workers used the information to start their own firm and land lucrative deals, prosecutors say.

DUBAI // Three senior employees at a gas company denied stealing secrets related to the company’s bids and price lists, then using them to start their own firm, costing their original employer more than one million euros, a Dubai court heard today.

The suspect NA, Canadian, 54, who worked as a general manager at the gas company, denied accusations of providing sensitive business secrets to a man in Italy with whom he and the other two suspects started a competing business, the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours was told.

Records show that NA, DH, 38, a sales manager, and SM, 39, a regional manager and marketing specialist, had worked for the victim, AA, and used confidential information from his agreements and purchases for their own gain between July 2007 and January 2008.

AA said he knew by coincidence they had started a competing company registered under the name of an Italian man in partnership with two other European men, records show.

He added that he had met with a client who declined a bid from his company and told him he had instead accepted the bid from the victim’s other company.

The client told AA about the new company, saying one of the suspects had approached him and told him to overlook the first offer and instead accept an offer from he was told was AA's second company.

AA told the client he did not own another company and investigated further. Records show he discovered that the suspects had taken sensitive information that no other employee had access to, records said.

Prosecutors said the deal AA lost to the suspects’ company cost his company about 1.5 million euros.

The court will reconvene on March 3 to examine documents from the victim’s company.