x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Property scammers get lease on a jail cell

Pair who swindled a man out of Dh5,000 have been jailed for six months.

DUBAI // Two internet property fraudsters were sentenced to six months in jail yesterday for advertising another person's property and swindling a man out of Dh5,000.

The two were convicted of forging an ownership certificate for an apartment at Dubai Marina in order to steal Dh5,000 as rent deposit.

SK, 37, an Iranian, and his accomplice SA, a 26-year-old Briton, changed information on the flat ownership certificate by placing SK's name as the owner of the apartment, prosecutors said.

They sent the certificate to AA, an Iraqi, along with a location map, posing as legitimate property brokers to deceive him into renting the apartment from them.

Prosecutors said they took Dh5,000 from AA as a deposit for the apartment.

SA and SK were offering apartments on a popular website.

AA said he found the apartment online and contacted SK, who agreed to go with him to see it.

AA said he went with his wife to see the flat, and the next day, on May 13, 2010, his wife paid SK Dh5,000 as a deposit. (How the suspects gained access to the apartment is not clear.)

AA said SK gave his wife a handwritten piece of paper - but not a receipt as per the Real Estate Regulatory Authority's standards.

The men have two weeks to file an appeal, or the judgment is final.