x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Two men charged with fraud over certificates

Two men accused of issuing fraudulent health certificates to labourers for up to Dh2,700 are arrested and charged with fraud.

DUBAI // Two men accused of issuing fraudulent health certificates to labourers for up to Dh2,700 (US$735) were arrested this week and charged with fraud. Both men were contracted cleaners supplied to the Preventative Medicine Department in the Ministry of Health. Both hold Indian passports. The first man, identified as AMS, was arrested after a member of the Dubai Police CID posed as a buyer and bought a fake certificate from him for Dh1,500.

The second occurred when the second suspect, NK, was discovered with two certificates bearing stamps of the Health Department, 19 passport-sized photos of potential buyers and Dh2,300 in cash, police said. The men obtained health certificates that had been cleared by the ministry, presumably by stealing them, and then simply changed the photos, according to the police. "The health certificates are issued by the Ministry of Health and they are used for a number of legal purposes, including to obtain a visa," a police officer said.

A decree issued earlier this year ruled that only designated public health clinics may issue the medical certificates. Previously, private clinics and hospitals were able to perform the tests and issue the certificates. The medical tests check for HIV, tuberculosis, syphilis, hepatitis B and leprosy. A positive result for any of these will result in denied entry. The tests are repeated every three years.

rabubaker@thenational.ae sbhattacharya@thenational.ae