x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Unhappy end to hunt for husband online

A man has been charged with h issuing threats, blackmail, and trying to extort Dh250,000 from an Emirati woman after an online relationship turned sour.

Dubai // It started as an online courtship and ended in a criminal court.

A 31-year-old Emirati woman seeking a husband created a profile on a marriage site and met a 34-year-old man from Ras al Khaimah, the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance heard yesterday.

"I posted on my profile the things I need from a mate and he contacted me. One of my conditions was that he had to be a UAE national," the woman told public prosecutors.

The two engaged in an online relationship in 2008, which blossomed after they started exchanging phone calls and met, she said.

"I told him to try to get a higher degree as he was only a college graduate," the woman said. "He did not have any money so I started giving him money for him to complete his Master's.

"After a year, I was shocked to discover he was a Bidoon [stateless person]. I told him that my family would not accept him and that my main condition was that a person is Emirati," she said.

N A attempted to propose marriage to her family but was turned down, she said. After another suitor approached the woman, she said N A started threatening her. "He used to stalk me and stay in front of my office until I left," she said.

N A, according to prosecution records, stalked the woman and threatened to expose her relationship with him to her family, colleagues and clients by publishing photographs of her online.

"He called me and texted me, and chased me continuously," she said.

On one occasion, N A chased her car and told her to stop or he would throw pictures of her into the street, she said.

Prosecutors say text messages recovered from NS's phone and laptop show he issued threats. They said one text read: "I do not care how far you take this, I want to hurt you as you hurt me and I will not give up."

Ahmed al Hamadi, assistant chief prosecutor of the Bur Dubai prosecutors office, charged N A with issuing threats, blackmail, and trying to extort Dh250,000 from the woman if she did not agree to marry him.

N A failed to appear in court yesterday to answer the charges.

The court will issue its verdict on November 3.