Witnesses Confirm Nakheel Ex-staff Took Bribes

DUBAI — Two employees of real estate developer Nakheel confirmed in the court on Wednesday that their two former colleagues, who are standing trial, had accepted bribes.

By Mary Nammour

Published: Fri 10 Apr 2009, 12:31 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:13 AM

The two witnesses, an American sales consultant who was the whistleblower in the case and his Emirati supervisor, were cross-examined by Presiding Judge Fahmi Mounir Fahmi and defence lawyers Samir Jaafar and Nabih Badr.

As per the case, a 28-year-old Egyptian ex-salesman and a 32-year-old Emirati former sales general manager of Nakheel, both under detention, overcharged a company by two per cent of the original price for a plot of land and took the excess amount that came up to more than Dh5 million as commission.

The American, who helped bring the alleged fraud to light, said the Egyptian defendant told him in May 2008 that there was a seafront plot for sale in Palm Jebel Ali.

“The Egyptian told me that he and his superior (the Emirati who is also standing trial) were willing to sell the land to anyone who paid an additional two per cent of the original price in cash,” the American said. He informed the Control Section manager about the plan who told him to pretend to be playing along with the duo.

A cheque for 10 per cent of the estimated total land price of Dh265 million was given by a purchaser to Nakheel as down payment. The American collected the two per cent commission in cash, worth more than Dh5,134,000. He accepted Dh2.05 million of that amount as his commission.

The remaining amount was reportedly split between the two accused.

The American reported the whole matter to his superiors and submitted the money he had collected as his cut in the deal.

During police interrogation, the Egyptian defendant said he could return part of the money he had kept with him in the UAE but not the amount he had sent to his home country. The police seized the whole amount collected by the Emirati from his aunt’s house in Al Mimzar.

The defence lawyers will present their pleas on April 26.

Man Accused of Kidnapping, Threatening Former Wife

AN unemployed Emirati stood trial on Wednesday on the charges of kidnapping and threatening his former wife.

The 30-year-old defendant, who appeared in the Criminal Court of First Instance, allegedly forced his Emirati ex-wife to travel with him in his car to talk about their son’s custody and then assaulted and threatened her on April 20 last year.

The defendant threatened her that he would kidnap their son and burn her house if she would not go back to him.

The woman told interrogators that on that day, she was heading to her workplace near Wafi Centre in the company’s bus. She noticed her ex-husband chasing the bus in his car before blocking its way. She got scared when she saw him wearing a knuckleduster. He wanted her to go with him in his car and promised not to harm her. She agreed only after he allowed the bus driver also to be in the car.

After driving for a short distance, the Emirati asked the bus driver to step down as he wanted to be alone with his ex-wife so they could discuss some private matters.

The moment the driver got out of the car, the defendant slapped her on her face and threatened that he would burn her house. He asked her to return to him. He then dropped her at Al Wasl Hospital.

She told the police later that she went in the defendant’s car, as she was very scared. The defendant had broken the bus window glass with a sword and threatened that he would beat her colleagues travelling in the bus if she did not ride with him.

The verdict is expected on April 15.

Ex-manager of Hotel DeniesSeeking Bribe from Bidder

A German former manager of a hotel on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to demanding a bribe of Dh386,000 for favouring a bidder.

The 47-year-old defendant, currently on bail, appeared in the Criminal Court of First Instance. While working for Bavaria Hotel, he allegedly sought a bribe from a company in return for letting its bid for supplying towels, blankets and other material get the contract.

He is also accused of divulging the hotel’s confidential details including prices and the bids of other clients.

A Syrian manager told interrogators that the defendant was a manager and a 40 per cent partner in the hotel. His company invited tenders for supplying towels, blankets and other material for the hotel.


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