x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Immigration officer and policeman acquitted of bribery in 'beautiful woman' case

Both officers had denied charges at the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance, which has yet to disclose its reasons for decision.

DUBAI // An immigration officer and a policeman have been acquitted of bribery charges in a case that started with an "exceptionally beautiful" Iraqi woman. The Emirati immigration officer - MS, a 32-year-old sergeant - was accused of taking a Dh55,000 (US$15,000) bribe from the Yemeni policeman to allow his wife, an Iraqi who had been previously deported, back into the country.

Both officers had denied the charges at the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance. MS, who scanned people's irises at Dubai International Airport's Terminal One, was charged with illegally allowing the woman - TM, 20 - into the country, illegally stamping her visa and accepting a bribe. MS was said to have told an internal investigation committee that he made an honest mistake after TM, said to be "exceptionally beautiful", flirted with him when she arrived in October 2008.

He was reported to have told the committee, under the false pretence of the case being dropped, that he had met the woman in Syria with her husband. He told the committee that, after the woman arrived in the UAE, he met her in Ras al Khaimah, where they had consensual sex and she gave him Dh5,000. MS was said to have then contacted the policeman - MM, 23 - and demanded Dh50,000 from him. MM and his wife were both charged with paying a bribe to MS. TM has been re-deported.

MS told prosecutors that he was coerced and forced to give false testimony to the investigation committee, a claim dismissed by prosecutors. The court did not say disclose its reasons for acquitting the men, but is expected to do so later this week. amustafa@thenational.ae