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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

PR man caused 13 Dubai companies to lose trade licences after running off with cash, court hears

Syrian defendant fails to appear in court to face charges of forgery and embezzling hundreds of thousands of dirhams

An employee embezzled the fees given to him to renew work visas and trade licences for 13 companies, resulting in those companies and employees being fined and suspended from work.

The Syrian defendant, 26, did not show up at Dubai Criminal Court to face charges of forgery and embezzlement of Dh662,347.

Prosecutors said that he worked as a public relations officer at one of the companies, which are all owned by the same man.

The defendant was responsible for handling all government procedures and applications related to the Ministry of Labour, the Naturalisation and Residency Department and the Land Department, including renewing licences and work visas.

Between January 2015 and March this year, he allegedly failed to finalise any of the applications he was assigned. Instead, he forged copies of trading licences and submitted them to his employer, claiming that they had been renewed, it is alleged.

The company’s owner told prosecutors that he discovered the scheme when he was notified that his companies were suspended from work and his workers’ visas up for renewal were rejected.

“I then discovered that he took the money and forged the copies of the licence he gave me by extending its validity dates,” said the 64-year-old Indian owner.

He said the accused stole Dh282,347 and caused fines up to Dh380,000, telling prosecutors that he spoke to the defendant after finding out about the issue in March. The owner said the defendant admitted to embezzling money since 2015.

“He handed me two cheques worth Dh300,000 and promised to return the rest of the stolen money in installments but I refused and reported him to Naif police station,” the owner said.

A police officer said that he questioned the defendant and that he confessed.

“He told me he took the money because he was facing financial difficulties,” said the officer, 57.

The next hearing will be on September 24.