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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

Jail time and millions in fines for defendants involved in DP World bribery case

The suspects helped companies to win tenders 

A former senior manager at DP World who sought bribes from two companies in exchange for helping them win two major construction projects was fined Dh4.85m and will spend 18 months in jail.

The 29-year-old Emirati woman, demanded Dh500,000 from the manager of a construction company in return for granting his company a project to construct a villa in Jumeirah Heights. She also demanded a Dh4.35m bribe from the manager of a second company in exchange for helping him win a bid at Jebel Ali Port.

At Dubai Criminal Court on Monday, the woman, who no longer works at the port company, was convicted of seeking bribes.

The construction company managers who offered her bribes, a 59-year-old Egyptian and 49-year-old Jordanian, were convicted and sentenced to a year in jail each. They were also fined Dh500,000 and Dh4.35m respectively.

Read more: Ex-Dubai port company manager on trial accused of cash for contracts

A Syrian woman, 54, who also worked at DP World, was sentenced to a year in jail and a Lebanese man, 55, to three months for aiding and abetting the main defendant.

The Syrian woman, Jordanian and Lebanese defendants were also convicted of forgery and use of a forged document, which helped facilitate the scheme of winning the bid for the port project.

The Emirati and four of the defendants were also convicted of money laundering the bribed cash through another company owned by the Lebanese defendant.

Dubai Criminal Court was told that the crimes occurred between 2012 and 2014 and were reported to the authorities by the Syrian DP World employee, after she was not paid her full share of the cash.

“After she helped the two companies enter the bids with DP World, she asked me to contact the managers of the companies and ask each to wire her Dh500,000,” the Syrian told the court. She went to the authorities about the scam and later wore a wire to gather evidence against them.

She said she did not know how the DP World director managed to help the companies enter the bids, since they were not registered contractors with DP World. She said she saw the main defendant tell each company what prices they should list in their tender bids.

“In order to make sure that she gets her share, she had an engineering consultations company owned by her friend, the Lebanese defendant, sign separate contracts with both companies stating that if they won the bids, they are to pay the consultations company a percentage of the total amount of the project they won,” said the Syrian woman, adding that the percentage was decided by the Emirati woman herself.

The consulting company received more than Dh2m after the two bidders won.

“Then the Emirati received her share of the instalments from the consultations company, sometimes in cash at her sister’s home or in a café on Sheikh Zayed Road.

“I received Dh175,000 and was never paid the Dh550,000 remaining from my share,” said the Syrian.

The Emirati denied the accusations and said the Syrian co-worker that later reported her to the authorities was the one who introduced the two bidders.

“We met in mid-March, I got arrested,” said the Emirati who denied all charges in court last July.

The Lebanese defendant also denied all charges while the rest of the defendants did not attend court.

The four expatriate defendants will be deported after serving their terms.

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