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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

Customs inspectors who accepted bribes for sheep smugglers jailed

The inspectors would accept bribes from three Omani men who would bring sheep shipments into the country

Two customs inspectors and three other men will spend a year in prison each for seeking and offering bribes to allow sheep shipments into the country without undergoing inspection procedures.

Dubai Criminal Court convicted the Emirati inspectors, 26 and 34, of seeking and accepting Dh120,000 from three Omani men.

Three Omani nationals, 31, 25 and 23 were found guilty of offering bribes, aiding and abetting and bringing 23 sheep shipments through Hatta border without undergoing proper import procedures or obtaining permits.

A 33-year-old Emirati inspector said he discovered the incident on August 27 last year when he tracked and stopped one of the shipments.

“I saw the driver hand something to one of the two inspectors then drive across the border towards the city without applying for permits,” said the inspector.

He said the container was labelled as carrying fish but all fish imports enter the country by 3am daily to be delivered fresh to supermarkets.

When he questioned the Omani trio about their shipment, they told him they had made a deal with his colleague (the accused inspector).

“He swore to me that he paid both defendants more than Dh1.5 million in return for allowing about 77 shipments into the country before and on Eid Al Fitr this year,” the inspector said.

“I confronted both defendants and they admitted to me,” he said.

“I asked them if they had ever searched the containers, they said no, so I snapped and told him that it could have been weapons,” the Emirati said in court.

Records show that 129 sheep were found to be suffering from contagious diseases and were terminated while 60 were found dead. Only 61 lived out of the total number of the confiscated sheep, which was not disclosed in court.

The inspectors were fined Dh120,000 each while the Omani defendants will be deported after serving their prison terms.

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