Ex-accountant on trial over taking Dh450,000 in bribes

DUBAI — A former accountant of a local money exchange company stood trial in the Court of First Instance on Thursday on the charges of taking bribes, forgery and use of forged electronic documents.

By Marie Nammour

Published: Sat 25 Feb 2012, 12:14 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 4:43 PM

The 37-year-old Indian accountant allegedly took Dh450,000, a mobile phone and clothes in bribes from a client to do electronic money transfers before the sums were deposited first in the bank accounts belonging to the money exchange company. The alleged bribery happened at times from August 2008 to September 2009.

Forty-three-year-old Emirati manager of the exchange company branches in the Dubai and Northern Emirates told the prosecutor that they had special procedures for transferring of huge sums of money. The usual procedure was that the client first deposits the sum in one of the exchange company bank accounts. Once that sum is deposited, the exchange company transfers it to any destination chosen by the client.

The defendant was a general accountant with the exchange company for almost eight years. His duties included auditing and making sure the usual procedures regarding the transfer of huge sums were respected.

The defendant had as part of his job to finalise documents certifying that the big sums were deposited in the bank accounts before any transfer to the destination, ordered by the client, was okayed.

In October 2009, the Emirati manager learnt from an Indian operation manager that a company sent many money transfer request forms to them by fax and the sums totalled Dh23 million. Those forms were enclosed with receipts showing that the sums were deposited in bank accounts of the exchange company.

The defendant was believed to have verified the deposition of sums in the bank accounts and approved the money transfers.

When the Emirati manager checked the company’s accounts, he learnt that the sums were transferred even before the amounts were deposited by the client in the firm’s bank accounts.

He also learnt from the operation manager that the receipts enclosed with the transfer request forms were forged and fictitious.

The manager said that two other staff in their company had been accused in the beginning but the Public Prosecution did not frame charges against them for lack of evidence. The manager of the client company is still being sought in connection with the case. The operation manager gave a similar statement.

The defendant admitted during investigation by the Public Prosecution that while going about his duties at the exchange company, he noticed that a client was doing money transfers without depositing the sums at first in the exchange company’s bank accounts. He was contacted by the manager of the client company, the runaway, and was asked to meet him.

The latter allegedly lured him with money totalling Dh450,000, gifts and dinner invitations to cover up and keep quiet about the unlawful money transfers so that the deficit would not be exposed.


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