x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Lab worker in Dubai took bribes to conceal contagious disease findings, court hears

A 40-year-old laboratory employee is accused of taking a Dh900-bribe in return for falsifying medical reports for three people who suffer from contagious diseases.

DUBAI // A laboratory worker gave clean bills of health to three expatriates with contagious diseases in return for a bribe, a court heard yesterday.

M?N, 37, and M?B, 40, both from Pakistan and A?S, 52, from India, paid the lab worker Dh900 to find them free of disease so that they could renew their residency permits, prosecutors told the Criminal Court. All had contagious diseases and one of them, A?S, had hepatitis B.

The lab worker A?N, 40, from India, who worked at Al Muhaisanah Health Centre, submitted their samples using his own blood.

The Emirati head of the laboratory discovered the scam when a scientist noticed the samples featured the blood of the lab worker – who had provided his own sample for residency purposes just days earlier.

When confronted by his manager, the lab worker confessed and said that he had received a call from a printing office manager who offered him the bribe. He said he had never seen the man, only spoken to him on the phone.

Before the laboratory could inform the police, the lab worker fled the country. The matter was reported to the Dubai Health Authority in September 2012.

The lab worker was charged in his absence with soliciting bribes and forging and using official documents.

The three others were charged with paying bribes, while A?S was also charged with falsifying a residency paper. He was accused of tampering with his residency paper and changing his profession to salesman from fish salesman.

Prosecution records said fish salesmen are required to undergo a hepatitis test, while salesmen are not.

All denied the charges and a verdict is expected on July 9.

salamir@thenational.ae