x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Sixteen forged visa stamps, security court told

Defendants helped obtain fraudulent visas for Iraqi businessmen, according to prosecutors.

Abu Dhabi // Sixteen defendants of various nationalities forged Foreign Ministry stamps that were used to obtain visas for Iraqi businessmen, the State Security Court heard yesterday.

The defendants, including one woman, have been in prison for nearly eight months and appeared yesterday for the first time. Prosecutors accuse them of forging stamps from the Foreign Ministry's Sharjah office, which they used at the Fujairah Immigration Department to issue the visas.

Three of the defendants were accused of forging and using official stamps and documents; three businessmen were accused of entering the country illegally; and the rest were charged with being accomplices.

Defense lawyers said that the man who actually forged the stamps, which accredited the businessmen's university degrees, has fled the country and that none of the defendants knew the documents were forged. The businessmen’s lawyers said their clients entered the country with visas officially issued by authorities.