x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Ministry and CID staff accused of colluding with brothels

Ministry of Interior staff have been charged with corruption in connection with several raids on brothels and liquor outlets.

ABU DHABI // Ministry of Interior staff, including members of the CID, have been charged with corruption in connection with several raids on brothels and liquor outlets.

Five of the accused allegedly posed as security agents in order to take money from illegal Asian immigrants running the brothels and bootleg liquor operations, Col Maktoum al Sharifi, the director of the Criminal and Investigative Directorate (CID), said.

The men, all Emiratis, worked with three Asian guides who directed them to the brothels and liquor outlets. The eight accused are all young men, aged from 19 to 24. Some are members of the CID, Col al Sharifi said. The anti-corruption squad within the CID was able to confirm the operation using undercover operations after being tipped off about the men's alleged activities.

The accused confessed to police and admitted they had carried out similar raids on several occasions. They said they targeted people who worked illegally to ensure the people who were raided did not report them. Col al Sharifi urged all society members to be aware of their legal rights to ensure they did not fall victim to similar schemes.

"Those who stay or work illegally in this country are susceptible to such abuse of power," he added.

He said the accused would come before the courts and face further questioning by the ministry, and pointed out the arrests were made public as a lesson, to show no one was above the law.

"Everyone is in the same boat when it comes to legal accountability," he said.

Ministry staff, who are loyal, trustworthy and committed to justice, "distance themselves from such disgraceful behaviour", he said.

Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, the Interior Minister, said the ministry was absolutely committed to transparency and to fighting corruption and that the public had the right to be shown the "fruits of these efforts". The accused are GA, 21, GM, 21, FA, 19, MR, 22, SN, 23, MA, 24, NB, 19 and MH, 19.

hhassan@thenational.ae