British trio dupes 13 suppliers after faking Dubai Expo contracts

Dubai - Prosecutors said the men opened up offices and a warehouse and hired staff to carry out their criminal plot.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Sun 22 Mar 2020, 4:01 PM

Last updated: Sun 22 Mar 2020, 6:06 PM

A British trio duped 13 suppliers into selling them products worth millions of dirhams after falsely claiming that their two companies had signed contracts worth billions with Dubai Expo.
Dubai Misdemeanours Court was told the men - aged, 32, 35 and 47 - placed advertisements in an English daily seeking to purchase different types of products.
Prosecutors said the men opened up offices and a warehouse and hired staff to carry out their criminal plot.
Owners and representatives of 13 companies contacted the defendants based on the advertisements and provided them with different products worth more than Dh8 million, according to court documents.
The trio was charged with fraudulently obtaining millions in cash and products. Two of the accused denied the charges in court while the third defendant failed to show up.
Another defendant, aged 55, was charged with issuing dud cheques worth Dh6.4 million to the victims, which he denied.
"My client neither signed the cheques nor did he hand them over to the victims, which is proved in the documented testimonies of some of them," said Emirati lawyer Awatif Mohammad Khouri  from Al Rowaad Advocates, representing the defendant.
She noted that they have requested the court to summon the victims for cross examining. "We also have witnesses to prove our client is not part of the scam," Awatif added.
Duped companies started reporting incidents to police in October last year after the cheques they were handed in return for their products, bounced and after hearing this the 55-year-old defendant fled the country.
British manager of a fencing services company said he contacted two of the defendants after seeing their advertisements seeking to purchase goods for Expo, including fencing materials.
"I met with the two defendants, who turned out to be father and son, at their offices in Dubai's Investment Park," the British manager said.
After an agreement was struck between the three, the victim testified providing them with fencing materials worth Dh536,000, but was handed cheques that later bounced.
A general trading company's owner said he supplied the defendants with Dh4 million worth of carpets.
"When the cheques they gave me bounced, I visited their offices again but they were empty," said the Turkish owner.
The representative of a ceramic company said his employer supplied the defendants with white ceramic valued at Dh1.4 million and were paid by dud cheques.
Judges were told that a chemicals supplying company had fallen for the scam and provided the defendants with ceramic bonding adhesives worth more than Dh400,000.
"I read the adverts in a daily and contacted the phone numbers, then met with one defendant at the offices of one of his companies," said the Indian manager of a general trading company.
"We supplied him with Dh819,000 worth of plastic material and received dud cheques," he added.
He noted that the cheques were issued, signed and handed by the 32-year-old defendant.
All victims said they visited the offices of the defendants' two companies where they saw an active business and employees but after the cheques bounced they found the offices vacant.
The hearing has been adjourned until April 20.

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