x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Rental scam cost victims Dh200,000, charges say

Man is accused of forging documents to trick people into paying him for properties he did not own.

DUBAI // A salesman is accused of forging a property ownership certificate and using it to defraud people interested in renting homes, a Dubai court heard this morning.

The Pakistani man, AS, 38, is accused of posting online advertisements offering villas and other residential units for rent, the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance was told.

In October 2010, records said, he presented a fake ownership certificate to a two victims who responded to the adverts.

The records said AS photocopied the certificate, then changed the information on it before presenting it to the potential renters.

He is also accused of forging the lease contract by adding his name as the owner of the property, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said that last year he presented the forged documents to the victim LM, who paid him Dh200,000 for what was supposedly a lease on a unit.

Another victim, RA, a 30-year-old safety officer from Jordan, told prosecutors he also read the advertisements and contacted the defendant, agreeing to rent from him after seeing the forged documents.

Police said that during investigations AS confessed, records show. He added that he was not authorized by any of the units’ owners to advertise their property or lease it to others.

AS told police investigators that he showed a forged Pakistani passport as part of the scam.

The next hearing was scheduled for March 14 to summon AS.

salamir@thenational.ae