x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Man appeals jail term for Dh10m in bounced cheques

In 2010, he was out of the country with his ill mother when his partner decided to flee with the money to Syria, the court heard.

ABU DHABI // A man has appealed against his 10-year sentence for issuing dishonoured cheques worth about Dh10 million, saying he has since paid off most of the money.

Emirati A Y, 32, and a Syrian partner had a car rental company.

His lawyer, Hamed Al Minhali, explained that the Emirati began to receive money from investors to buy more cars.

He would pay them monthly profits from the rental income, Mr Al Minhali said.

In 2010, he was out of the country with his sick mother when his partner decided to flee with the money to Syria, the court heard.

The Emirati was not able to pay the investors any money.

He followed his partner to Syria and asked him for half of the money, but his partner threatened to have him killed if he did not leave, the court heard.

On Monday at the Appeals Court, he told the judges that he paid about 95 per cent of the cheques’ value.

“Bring all the case files to me after so we can revise the figures again,” the judge said.

The Misdemeanours Court sentenced the Emirati to 10 years.

After the hearing, Mr Al Minhali said such cases were all too common.

“In 2008 to 2010, everyone was excited about starting business investments,” he said.

But such ventures often ended up with one of the partners taking all of the money and running off, leaving the others in prison and unable to pay off the investors, Mr Al Minhali said.

“He sold almost everything he owns to pay the people their owed money,” he said.

hdajani@thenational.ae