x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Scheme switched blood samples in residency physicals, court told

Four men are charged with helping a taxi driver with hepatitis B fake his way through the test.

DUBAI // Four men conspired to replace an infected blood sample to help a taxi driver pass his residency physical, a court heard today.

The Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance was told that MY, 45, a Pakistani driver, offered Dh1,000 to SN, a 33-year-old Indian blood-sample collector at Al Muhaisnah medical center, to replace his blood sample.

Prosecutors said MY suffered from hepatitis B, which is among the diseases that prevent residence in the UAE.

Records show that MJ, 30, a Pakistani carpenter, and FD, 32, an Indian waiter, helped MY replace the blood sample, negotiated with SN and received bribes themselves.

MJ was given Dh2,000, and FD got Dh500, prosecutors said, and the bribes were solicited and received between January 31 and February 1.

They are also accused of helping MY use the forged certificate and present it to the Residency Department.

MY confessed, according to prosecutors, and said he had been living in the UAE for three years and was advised by a friend to forge the fitness certificate. He confessed that this friend, identified in records as N, gave him the mobile number of SN.

He said SN, who had been working at the centre's lab for five years, asked for Dh3,500, and the two other men intervened to persuade him to reduce his price.

FD confessed in records to helping people get illegal fitness certificates in exchange for money.

SN said in records that on the day of the incident, he received four applications from FD, including the application belonging to MY. Each application came with a Dh1,000 as bribe, records show.

Prosecutors said SN saved blood from uninfected people to use them in his scheme. It was not clear how the forgery was discovered.

The next hearing will be on August 14.

salamir@thenational.ae