x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Three accused of unlawfully collecting funds

Three men pretended to represent the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children to collect funds, court told.

DUBAI // Three men pretended to represent the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children to raise money to publish a book about the organisation, a court heard yesterday.

AA, 47, from Sudan; SM, 35, from Oman; and MR, 28 from Egypt, are accused of conspiring to unlawfully collect funds by presenting forged documents to companies in support of their project, called Sail of Hope.

MR is charged with forging the foundation's logo on business cards, the sailhope.com website and an official letter with the forged signature of the foundation's executive director.

OK, a director at the foundation, told prosecutors that a man who said he was a journalist with a prominent daily newspaper called her and offered the idea of the book project.

She was on leave at the time so she put him in contact with the foundation. After a meeting with the executive director, who liked the idea, they agreed to proceed. She said the director provided a letter to help to raise funds for the book.

Shortly afterwards the foundation received a call from a businessman who said the three men had presented business cards with the foundation's logo and introduced themselves as its representatives.

SM's brother, a Dubai police officer, said SM offered him a marketing job to raise funds, and his share would be between Dh10,000 and Dh12,000. He said they raised about Dh40,000.

All three men denied the charges at the Criminal Court of First Instance. The next hearing was set for May 29.

salamir@thenational.ae