x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Police officer denies bribe to cancel fine

The Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance hears that the 25-year-old officer had told a driver that he could get his Dh15,000 fine quashed if he paid him Dh8,000.

DUBAI // A traffic police officer has denied demanding a Dh8,000 (US$2,200) bribe to cancel a fine. The Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance heard yesterday that the 25-year-old officer from the Qusais police station had told a 38-year-old Indian driver that he could get his Dh15,000 fine quashed if he paid him Dh8,000. In May, the driver contacted investigators to report that he was being threatened by a Dubai police officer. He claimed the officer had said that he would suffer repercussions if he did not pay the Dh8,000.

According to a report submitted to the court by the prosecutor's office, the defendant, MA, was asked by an acquaintance to help a driver who had been ticketed by Dubai Police for driving a bus with more passengers in it than permitted. MA prevented the ticket being entered into the police system by telling another officer that the bus belonged to a high-ranking Dubai Police official, according to the report.

MA then took the driving licence and vehicle registration papers that had been confiscated from the driver and returned them to him. The driver said he met the defendant at a Dubai petrol station, where he was given back his documents. MA then allegedly asked for Dh8,000, telling the bus driver that had he not interceded, the driver would have had to pay the Dh15,000 fine and that his vehicle would have been impounded. The driver, according to the prosecutor's report, refused to pay, stating that he thought the officer was just helping him out.

MA allegedly told him that, "No one helps anyone for free." Angered, the bus driver got out of the policeman's car and walked off. MA is also accused of calling the bus driver several times and threatening to create problems for him if he did not pay. The driver contacted the Criminal Investigations Division of Dubai Police who provided him with Dh5,000 in cash and a Dh3,000 cheque to give to the defendant. When MA met the driver to receive the payment, he was was arrested, the court heard. MA will return to court on August 11.

ealghalib@thenational.ae