x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Landlords 'took Dh77,000 for villa they did not own'

Four men conned tenant out of Dh77,000 when they rented him a villa they did not own, a court hears.

DUBAI // Four men conned a tenant out of Dh77,000 when they rented him a villa they did not own, a court heard today.

MA, an unemployed 39-year-old, AR, a 28-year-old internal designer, MN, his 30-year-old business partner, and AA, a 33-year-old clerk, were accused of forging the villa's ownership certificate and its lease contract before renting it to the tenant FA.

The forged documents were then presented to an estate agency and then to the tenant who paid the money to the four men.

Prosecutors told the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance that they took Dh42,000 cash and a cheque of Dh35,000.

RE, a 40-year-old Filipino estate agent, said the tenant's wife contacted her asking for a villa in the Springs area.

"She asked for a two bedroom villa in Al Barsha area which I couldn't find," she said.

She said that she found the Springs villa on the internet and contacted the advertisers. She said she then spoke to a man claiming to represent the owner.

She, the tenant and his wife then visited the villa to check it before paying the money and taking the villa's key.

"The next morning the tenant's wife called me and said the keys wouldn't open the villa's door," she said.

The estate agent said she then contacted the owner's representative who told her he was in Pakistan and advised her to break open the door. When they did so they found the villa was already furnished.

Only two of the four men were present at yesterday's hearing - AR and MN. They did not enter a plea.

The next hearing will be on April 15, when the other two men will be summoned.

salamir@thenational.ae