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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

Jail terms for four men involved in Dh7m visa scam upheld

The men were convicted of selling forged visas to residents for their family members

Four men, including two passport officers, have had their prison sentences upheld by Dubai Court of Appeal for their roles in a Dh7 million forgery scheme

An Indian businessman, 54, and his countryman, 32, were convicted of altering 91 rent contracts attributed to Dubai Land Department to bear false names.

They also forged 37 Ministry of Labour employment contracts attributed to the preventive security management of Dubai’s Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

They then used the fake documents to forge 14,341 visa applications between January 2013 and February 2014.

Two Emirati defendants, both 35, who worked at the passport office were paid bribes to process the applications.

The forged visas were bought by residents who according to their occupations were not eligible to sponsor family members.

Both Emirati defendants were convicted of abusing their duties by accepting bribes, using forged documents and abetting the two other defendants.

The court was told that one of the passport officers pocketed Dh2.48m in bribes, while the other received Dh4.69m.

The Indian men were convicted of forgery, the use of forged documents, offering bribes and aiding and abetting the Emirati defendants.

All were sentenced to three years in prison and Dh150,000 fine, with deportation for residents.

Prosecutors originally charged nine other defendants, all Indians, with bribery, forgery, use of forged documents and aiding crime.

Dubai Criminal and Appeal Courts upheld the sentences of the four main defendants, but acquitted the other nine.