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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 13 November 2018

Two accused of deceiving businessman out of Dh2m

The men allegedly promised to help the businessman win contracts with Dubai Government

Two men were accused of cheating an Italian businessman of about Dh2 million by leading him to believe they could help him win a contract with the Dubai Government.

The businessman, 69, first met the defendants in 2016. He told prosecutors that he was introduced to the pair – an Emirati, 27, and an Italian, 33 — and told they had strong ties with the Dubai Government and would help him win contracts.

“I was put in direct contact with the Italian defendant, who told me he could help me win a bid to provide desalination equipment for Dubai free zone and Dubai airports,” said the businessman.

The man arranged for a meeting between the businessman and his Emirati co-accused, who allegedly pretended to be a senior government official.

“We agreed that the Emirati would help me win a Dh455m contract and in return he asked for 5 per cent commission,” said the businessman.

After receiving what appeared to be official documents and emails about the bid and the project, the businessman wired Dh1.9m to the two men.

“They sent me a purchase order for the project that was attributed to Dubai Executive Council and another order from Dubai Customs, along with bank statements,” he said.

Police became aware of the incident on January 9 this year, but records did not disclose how.

Investigations revealed the pair forged several documents, including the purchase orders and bank statements, which they used to deceive the businessman.

During questioning, the Italian accused said his only role was mediation between the businessman and the Emirati defendant, and that he had nothing to do with the forgeries.

Dubai Executive Council and Dubai Customs confirmed that they had not ordered desalination equipment from the businessman and that the orders were forgeries.

Both men were charged with forgery, the use of forged documents and fraudulently obtaining Dh1.9 from the businessman.

They were not present in court to enter a plea. A verdict is expected on November 18.