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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Men who 'bribed policeman to waive visa overstay fees' have jail terms overturned

Three of nine men convicted by Dubai Criminal Court had their jail sentences and fines overturned

Three men convicted of offering bribes to a policeman in return for cancelling their fines for overstaying their visas have had their jail sentences overturned by Dubai Court of Appeal.

The trio, along with six other offenders, were found guilty by Dubai Criminal Court of offering bribes and were all sentenced to three years in jail followed by deportation.

The nine defendants and the policeman were fined Dh500,000 total and ordered to repay the losses they each caused to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (DNRD). The fines varied between Dh200 to Dh203,300.

The 35-year-old Emirati policeman who issued departure permits after accepting the bribes from the defendants — four Bangladeshis, two Indians and three Pakistanis — was sentenced to three years in jail, fined a separate Dh975,700 and ordered to repay Dh445,700 to the DNRD.

On November 19, the nine men were all at large and convicted in their absence of offering a bribe but three of them returned to the country and appealed the jail sentences.

The Court of Appeal found all three not guilty of offering bribes.

Records showed that the officer took Dh30,000 for cancelling fines worth more than Dh445,000

One Bangladeshi was found guilty of mediating in return for Dh500 and was sentenced to three years in jail and deportation but was not ordered to pay any fines.

The bribe was discovered when one of the defendants visited a public office asking about his visa overstay fines. When he presented his departure permit, the office employee suspected him and saw that he had not paid his fine.

An Emirati policeman, 40, said that, during questioning, the accused admitted to taking bribes.

"He told me he cancels Dh3,000 to Dh5,000 in fines weekly," he said.

The sentences against the policeman and the other six defendants still stand.

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