x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Prison and Dh115m fine for former chief executive of Dubai Islamic Bank

Fine is the highest so far to be handed out by a court in a case involving the wide-ranging corporate-corruption investigations in Dubai.

DUBAI // The former chief executive of Dubai Islamic Bank was yesterday sentenced to three years in prison and fined more than Dh100 million (US$27.2m) for accepting a bribe and unlawful commissions. SA, also formerly a board member with the developer Deyaar, was ordered to pay Dh100,000 in civil compensation. His fine of around Dh115m is the highest so far to be handed out by a court in a case involving the wide-ranging corporate-corruption investigations in Dubai.

The Criminal Court of First Instance convicted the 40-year-old Emirati of accepting a Dh11.75m bribe to facilitate a property sale and collecting unlawful commissions worth Dh16m on the sale. IJ, an Emirati businessman, a co-defendant tried in absentia for his alleged involvement in the sales scam, was acquitted of all charges yesterday. SA's lawyer, Habib al Mulla, and his legal team had argued that the investigations launched by the Dubai Government's Financial Audit Department were illegal.

Mr al Mulla said the department had no jurisdiction when it investigated Deyaar's books. He accused Mohammed Hussein, the lead investigator, of failing to carry out a complete and thorough investigation. He said investigators "did not try to get the truth but just considered that a crime has been committed and pushed to incriminate my client". Mr al Mulla tried to convince the court that the whole case was built on "false pretences and unlawful actions".

The conviction of SA was the third, and his arrest the sixth, in a broad investigation into allegations of impropriety at some of Dubai's biggest companies. To date, 13 cases have come before the courts. A total of about Dh3.7 billion is believed to have been embezzled. amustafa@thenational.ae