DNRD official, 4 others on trial for bribery and tampering of visa data

DUBAI — The Dubai Criminal Court yesterday adjourned the trial of the five accused who were charged with accepting bribes and tampering with data residing on the computer network of the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD).

by

Amira Agarib

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Published: Mon 24 Jul 2006, 12:06 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:18 PM

All the accused belong to different nationalities. One of them is an employee at the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department. Indian national Karombarot Alwi (49), African national Mustafa Omer (40), Egyptian national Mohamed Ibrahim (37), Syrian national Wajeeh Khalid (27) and UAE national Faisal Abdul Raheem (26), accused in that order, appeared before the court yesterday.

The fifth accused, Faisal, who works as a sergeant at the DNRD was referred to the court for receiving a bribe of Dh42,000 from the fourth accused Wajeeh and for changing the data on the DNRD's computer system by removing names of some expatriates who entered the UAE on visit visas and did not leave the county for long periods. Faisal admitted to striking off the names of several individuals who had overstayed their welcome with Bin Dismal Travel Agency and Al Mursal Tourist Company and to settling payments in the computer employing the code number of an employee of the passport section at the Dubai International Airport.

Faisal said he made the first "transaction" three months ago, deleting names of violators registered with the Travel and Tourist Agency in Ras Al Khaimah. He said that he received Dh12,000 from Wajeeh in lieu of the work.

He said that a similar operation to bail out a tourist company in Sharjah drew Dh5,000 but insisted he had been dealing only through his "friend," the fourth accused, and did not have acquaintance with the others involved in the case.

The fourth accused Wajeeh was referred to the court for offering bribes while the other three were charged with complicity in the bribery.

During the interrogation, first accused Alwi, who works as a sales executive at Al Mursal Tourist Company, said he approached Bin Dismal Travel Agency, where he met the third accused Mohamed Ibrahim, an accountant. Alwi said he was told by his friend Hareesh that Ibrahim could help him with payment of the penalties and had handed over Dh59,000 to settle the issue.

The second accused Mustafa said he did not receive any money and denied any acquaintance with the fifth accused but admitted to mediating between the first and the fourth accused. He also said that he received Dh59,000 from the first accused Alwi which he passed on to the fourth accused Wajeeh, who settled the cases of 48 violators of Al Mursal Travel Agency.

The third accused, Mohamed Ibrahim said that the manager of Bin Dismal asked him to prepare a list of violators and it was found that 178 persons did not leave the country and that the company needed to cough up Dh425,000 by way of penalties. He said that the second accused told him that he knew the fourth accused who had a relation to an employee at the DNRD.

The DNRD staffer, Ibrahim said, was expected to assist with paying the penalties by illegal means. On briefing the fourth accused, the latter sought a payment of Dh100,000, he added.

The fourth accused Wajeeh said that he received Dh59,000 from the third accused Mohammed Ibrahim to settle the transaction of Al Mursal Company. He said that he gave the fifth accused Faisal Dh10,000 and deposited Dh49,000 in his own account in a Dubai-based bank.

The case was brought to the surface when the head of the investigation section at the DNRD was informed by a partner of Al Mursal Travel Agency that there was a bribery plot brewing at the department. He said that he told the first accused, the director of the company, to prepare a list of all violators in order to lift the ban on the company's activities and to settle the issue with the DNRD.

The company was supposed to pay Dh325,000 by way of penalties. He said that, when he furnished the list, he found that 48 violators' names had been removed although they were still to exit the UAE. When he asked the first accused, the latter told him that he had paid all the penalties though illegal means and broke the story.

The company has submitted to the DNRD the passports of 14 of the 48 violators whose names had been deleted from the system as part of the case. These 14 individuals are still in the country though. The case was adjourned to August 10.



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