Dubai World ex-manager gets 10-year jail and fine

A former British human resource manager of a firm owned by Dubai World was sentenced to ten years in prison on Tuesday for embezzling Dh2.5 million from his workplace during his tenure.

By Marie Nammour

Published: Wed 25 Apr 2012, 11:42 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 11:35 AM

The Court of First Instance also gave the 45-year-old man two additional years for forgery and ordered him to return the Dh2.5 million to the complainant and pay the same sum in fines.

The court ordered that the defendant be deported after serving his prison term. The verdict is subject to appeal within 15 days at the Court of Appeal. The defendant embezzled Dh2.1 million, claiming the money is owed to a recruitment agency, which turned out later to be his own firm in the UK. He embezzled the remaining amount by claiming it is owed to an employee he hired as a head of protocol for the firm’s branch in Moscow. But it turned out that there was no such employee in Moscow. The fictitious employee’s dues were wired to a bank account belonging to the defendant in Cyprus.

In addition, the accused had submitted fake diploma certificates to his workplace stating that he had studied physics and business administration in universities in the UK. He also submitted fake experience certificates stating that he had worked for companies including some in the UK and Singapore.

He faced charges of embezzlement of public funds (which were entrusted to him while assigned with a public service), forgery and use of forged documents.

He worked for the Dubai World from January 2007 to June 2008 and absconded after his wrongdoings came to light. According to prosecution witnesses, the defendant purchased one of his diplomas from someone in the UK for £40. His academic qualifications were limited to high school.

The head of the Strategy Section (a Jordanian) at the Dubai World said that the defendant drafted himself the CV of a ‘fictitious’ employee. The latter’s joining form was signed by the defendant and not by the employee.

His employment contract stated that his monthly salary was Dh125,000 and his residence was in Cyprus and that he was an American citizen. The section head came across money wiring amounting to more than Dh298,000 worth of salary dues, to a bank account in Cyprus. Thanks to the help of an international private investigation firm, the head added, they learnt that the defendant’s academic diplomas and experience certificates were fake.

They also came across business deals worth more than Dh2 million between the complainant and a British company owned by himself. The deals were about the recruitment of 13 staff through the other company to the benefit of the complainant. However, it turned out later that the 13 staff were hired directly by the complainant. But ‘commissions’ for their recruitment were wired to a bank account in Cyprus, belonging to the accused.

An auditor confirmed the money wiring transactions were done by the defendant during his work for the complainant.

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