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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Human resources chief embezzled Dh18m from employer, court hears

Man is accused of masterminding fraud plot

A human resources chief embezzled millions of dirhams from his employer, only for his crimes to be uncovered when faked documents were found after a fire, a court heard.

The 50-year-old department head and a 33-year-old colleague allegedly forged an official ministry stamp, which they used on doctored documents including receipts, invoices and official letters, in order to defraud the unnamed Dubai firm out of Dh18 million.

Dubai Criminal Court heard that the pair, both from Syria, abused positions of power which allowed them to make deposits and payments on behalf of the company they worked for.

They are also accused of falsely attributing statements and receipts to a bank to hide the fraud.

The 50-year-old defendant faces a further charge of paying off the 33-year-old, who worked in the IT department, to stay silent over the offences.

Two Indian men, 25 and 56, who worked for the same employer in the accounting department, are charged with aiding and abetting the other two defendants.

The 70-year-old managing director of the defrauded company told prosecutors that he became aware of the embezzlement when his auditor informed him of irregularities in the company’s account.

“He told me that he requested a statement from our bank different than that provided by the 50-year-old accused and by double checking it, there was a huge difference in amounts between the two statements,” said the Canadian managing director.

He said that in November last year, a fire gutted the office of the Syrian HR manager, following which they found forged deposit receipts.

“I hired an auditing company which confirmed an embezzlement of Dh18.2 million had taken place,” said the director.

Police were alerted on November 16 of last year.

The director said the IT employee who helped his co-accused embezzle the cash admitted to his role, in writing.

“He worked under the older defendant and said that he was instructed by him to falsify the content of some official documents, and said that the other two defendants aided the crime by processing and accepting the altered documents, despite knowing they were fake, in return for a share.”

In court, the two Syrian defendants denied the fraud charges. The Indian men were not asked to enter a plea.

The next hearing is scheduled for December 11.