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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 28 May 2018

Government employee accused of illegally obtaining Dh400k

The defendent worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation's attestation section for 10 years

An employee at the Dubai office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has been accused of pocketing more than Dh400,000 by illegally obtaining attestation stamps.

The Emirati defendant, 38, had worked at the Ministry’s attestation section for 10 years and between February 4 and March 8 this year, illegally obtained 288 attestation stamps valued at Dh407,550, it is alledged.

Prosecutors said he re-printed the stamps and then sold them for his own profit.

Dubai Criminal Court heard that the defendant obtained his colleague’s password, which he later used to gain access to the Ministry's computer system to print out the stamps – only certain employees are given access to the system.

The head of customer care at the same office, 29, told prosecutors that the incident came to light when he received inquiries from head office about the large number of stamps he was issuing.

“I am the only one authorized to print out the stamps, so to make sure of the number that I issued, I contacted the company that receives the fees for each issued stamp. They informed me that a total of 288 stamps were reprinted, which is something I didn't do,” said the Emirati to prosecutors.

On March 16 this year, the accused was investigated by his department and, according to them, admitted to the crime saying he was having some financial difficulties; however, he denied that the figure stolen amounted to Dh407,000 and said he made Dh20,000 from selling the stamps.

After signing a written confession, he was suspended from work for a week.

On March 25, he was ordered to visit his office, where police were waiting for him.

The man was taken into custody and charged with illegally obtaining money and gaining illegal access to the electronic system of the Ministry.

“This is not true,” said the defendant told judges this morning in court.

The next hearing will be on May 30.