x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Nine charged in livestock smuggling scheme

Seven trucks tried to bribe way past guards at Hatta, court told.

DUBAI // Nine men tried to smuggle several trucks' worth of livestock into the country through the Hatta border last year, a Dubai court was told this morning.

The Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance was told that KS, 28, from Pakistan offered a Dh16,000 bribe to a border guard to allow him enter the UAE with seven trucks loaded with livestock on November 3, 2010. KS did not appear in court today.

MH, GM, GB, MHT, GE, MJ, SM, and AS, all Pakistanis ages 20 to 43, are charged with aiding and abetting. MH, GM, GE, SM and AS all denied the charges today.

Prosecutors said that on the day of the incident, corporal KM, 41, Emirati, was on duty when he noticed the seven trucks taking an unusual road into the country.

"It's a dangerous road and never taken by shipping truck," KM said.

That made him suspicious, he said, and he stopped them after calling in his border guard colleagues. He said the trucks did not have the proper papers and permits.

SJ, a border guard, testified that the truck drivers said that they lived in Hatta and that the livestock came from one of the farms there. He said he referred them to the Hatta centre to find out the source of the livestock.

Records did not disclose the identity of the border guard who was offered the bribe.

KS admitted to investigators that he was smuggling livestock from Al Buraimi in Oman to Dubai. He allegedly said he had gotten four trucks through earlier in 2010 by bribing the border guard.

Records showed that the rest of the men drove the livestock trucks for Dh500 each.

The next hearing will be on October 30.

salamir@thenational.ae