x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Payments broke rules, court told

A court hears four former employees of The Lagoons project were in breach of contract when they took commissions on resale of properties.

DUBAI // The chief executive of the developer Sama Dubai told a court yesterday that four former employees of The Lagoons project had been in breach of their contracts when they took a total of almost Dh5 million (US$1.3m) in commissions on the resale of properties. Farhan Faridoni was being questioned at the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance by defence lawyers for five people - including the former chief executive of The Lagoons project - who are accused of financial wrongdoing connected to three property deals in 2007 and 2008.

He said that although employees' contracts did not specifically forbid them from reselling property on behalf of Sama Dubai's clients, it was not their job. They were also obliged to abide by the rules of Sama Dubai's parent company, Dubai Holding, which forbids the practice, he said. "As employees for Sama Dubai, they earn salaries and end-of-year bonuses for their hard work, so they must work solely for the benefit of Sama Dubai." The commissions should have gone to Sama Dubai, not their own pockets, Mr Faridoni said.

He said that according to the legal department at Dubai Holding, Sama Dubai employees must work for the company, not for personal gain, nor should they have any business interests that conflicted with either company's interests. All five accused deny the charges. The case continues. hbathish@thenational.ae