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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 September 2018

Men forged documents to scam companies out of Dh12m, court hears 

The two men pretended to work at the company they were sacked from to ink deals with other companies, skimming a percentage from every deal

Two men cost a steel company millions of dirhams in fines by forging documents for Dh250m-worth of goods after being sacked from the company, heard Dubai Criminal Court.

Records show that after being fired from the Jebel Ali-based company in 2013, a Jordanian, 36, and Indian, 49, contacted a number of other companies – under the pretence that they still worked for the steel company - and offered to help them finalize customs clearance procedures on their imported goods at a reduced fee.

Prosecutors said the men told the companies they had to transfer ownership of their goods to the steel company to be eligible for the reduced fee. In return for each operation they charged the companies between two to five per cent of the total amount of the goods’ worth. The scheme earned them more than Dh12m, the court was told.

The pair are facing 29 counts of charges including forgery and use of almost 300 forged customs documents - which were saved on the steel company’s electronic system - to transfer ownership of Dh250m-worth of goods to the steel company.

Records show they used a fake stamp and their usernames and passwords from their former jobs to convince the other companies of the eligibility of their scheme.

A financial manager at the steel company said they were discovered after the store manager visited Dubai Customs to finalize procedures for a shipment and was told the company had outstanding fees to pay for goods registered to the company.

“When I got back to the management I was informed that we didn't make this purchase, so we started investigating about it and discovered that the companies which originally owned these goods moved ownership to our name through the defendants,” said the 42-year-old Jordanian store manager.

“The goods were shifted under our company’s name without our knowledge or consent and using fake stamps and altered documents,” the Saudi Arabian financial manager added.

He said they contacted the scammed companies and “they told us that the defendants made all the procedures and the company provided us with a letter from them explaining the issue.”

The Saudi Arabian man told the court that after the Jordanian defendant heard the company was investigating him, he contacted and threatened the owner.

“He carried out his threat and filed a malicious tax evasion report against us with the customs authorities,” he said.

The Jordanian store manager said the two men hand their own official stamps and would exclusively handle applications with customs while employed at the steel company. “They used to do is all from A to Z,” he said.

Records showed that the pair had been carrying out such illegal activities even before they were sacked and up until they were discovered in 2015.

Only Jordanian defendant appeared in court but was not faced with the charges.

The court was adjourned until September 17.

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