Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 20 January 2020

Man who bribed passport officer so he could travel to see dying son given suspended prison term

The nine-year-old boy died a week before his father went on trial for bribing a passport control officer

A businessman who bribed a passport officer to overlook his travel ban to allow him to fly to Beirut to provide bone marrow for his son’s cancer treatment was given a suspended prison sentence by Dubai Court of Appeal.

Records show that the Palestinian father – whose age was not in disclosed in court records – was banned from travelling out of the country because he was involved in a bounced cheque case.

His lawyer told the court that the cheque bounced because his client had no money left after he paid the bribe and after borrowed a great amount of money to cover the costs of his son’s treatment.

The businessman said he was contacted by his nine-year-old son’s doctors in Lebanon who told him he was the only matching donor.

“He had no other option, and he admits to every word in the charges sheet, but we can clearly see a lack of criminal intent in this case,” the lawyer said, arguing that the UAE penal code spares punishment if a crime is committed without criminal intent.


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The man gave an Emirati passport control officer a Dh60,000 bribe in September 2016 so he could fly out for the bone marrow transplant and another Dh60,000 in October the same year.

“It failed and my son died but at least I managed to see him before he died,” he told judges.

The businessman and passport control officer were arrested after surveillance cameras recorded the money exchange.

In September last year, the man was sentenced to three months in jail by Dubai Criminal Court for offering bribes.

The Emirati officer was sentenced to one year and fined Dh120,000 after being convicted of accepting bribes.

On Wednesday, Dubai Court of Appeal changed the prison term to a suspended sentence and ordered the businessman pay a Dh60,000 fine then be deported.

Updated: March 7, 2018 03:45 PM