x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Officials sentenced over illegal permits

Two Ministry of Labour employees are jailed for allowing 3,000 fraudulent work permits to be issued for cash.

AL AIN // Two Ministry of Labour employees have been jailed for allowing 3,000 fraudulent work permits to be issued for cash. KM and his wife, HH, both Emiratis, were sentenced by the Al Ain Court of First Instance to three years and one year in prison respectively for taking part in the scam. Both were receiving cash payments from workers who received the illegal labour permits. HH was initially sentenced to three years in prison, but after a review of her involvement it was ordered that she only serve one year. The sentencing came earlier this week following an investigation that lasted several months.

KM and HH are the only suspects to have been prosecuted so far in the case. According to the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, HH took advantage of her position as the secretary of the committee that approves the issuance of labour permits. The investigation also found the couple had used a colleague's computer login and password to enter false data into the ministry's computer system. This is the most recent case of fraudulent use of government login identification. Earlier this year, a member of the Abu Dhabi Traffic Police's vehicle registration department and a former employee of the department were found to have changed the registration details of rented BMW cars so they could be sold abroad. The fraud was estimated to have been worth Dh13 million (US$3.5m).

ealghalib@thenational.ae