x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Fraud case investigator defends his inquiry

The lead investigator in a major property fraud case was questioned yesterday about why the inquiry focused on just one suspicious transaction and ignored dozens of similar deals.

DUBAI // The lead investigator in a major property fraud case was questioned yesterday about why the inquiry focused on just one suspicious transaction and ignored dozens of similar deals. Mohammed Hussain, the head of the Dubai Financial Audit Department, was under cross-examination at the Criminal Court of First Instance at the trial of SH, who is alleged to have accepted a Dh1.9 million (US$517,000) bribe from a Lebanese investor in connection with a Dubailand development.

SH is the former chief executive of Mizin, owned by Tatweer, a member of the government investment arm Dubai Holding. Mr Hussain was asked by SH's lawyer, Sameer Jaafar, why his team pursued only one deal while a further 32, allegedly made under more favourable terms on surrounding plots at Dubailand, were not investigated. Mr Hussain said SH had violated company policies in the sale that his investigators had scrutinised, whereas they were not breached in the other transactions.

SH was arrested in August 2008 and charged with receiving a bribe from the second defendant, JH, who has absconded. JH received concessions worth Dh49m from SH, according to prosecutors. SH denies accepting a bribe. The trial was adjourned until March 9. @Email:amustafa@thenational.ae