Three men jailed for illegal sale of gas cylinders in Dubai

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Three men jailed for illegal sale of gas cylinders in Dubai
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Dubai - They were also ordered to pay a Dh20,000 fine each and will be deported after completing their jail terms.


Marie Nammour

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Published: Thu 30 Nov 2017, 2:38 PM

Last updated: Thu 30 Nov 2017, 4:51 PM

A 53-year-old Pakistani and two 25-year-old Afghans, who engaged in the illegal selling of gas cylinders by using fake stickers and duping the customers, have all been sentenced to one year in jail.
The Court of First Instance was earlier told the three men would buy new cylinders from the source, then refill them into empty cylinders by manipulating the weight. They would resell the newly refilled pieces, to bakeries, after covering them with fake stickers to deceive the customers into believing they were getting the real deal. The court heard their illegal activities' aim was to make profits by not sticking to the standard weight.
The court found them guilty of charges of faking a government company brand name and using it unlawfully, transporting inflammable merchandise, dealing in hazardous material, committing fraud in commercial deals and putting others' lives at risk. They were also ordered to pay a Dh20,000 fine each and will be deported after completing their jail terms.
The 53-year-old Pakistani driver admitted during investigation that he made the other two accomplices work on emptying and refilling of gas cylinders. He would buy the gas from the source then transport it to a farm. He and the others would then empty the new ones and refill them into old cylinders. They would manipulate the weight to benefit from the difference in prices.
He confessed they had modest experience in that but were doing it anyway and without any knowledge or respect to safety requirements. They would put the fake stickers on the newly-refilled cylinders to manage to sell them as new ones. 
He told the investigating prosecutor he had bought 1,000 counterfeit stickers for Dh500. He would then transport the refilled cylinders to sell them to bakeries.
The defendants' wrongdoings dated to March 26 and were reported in early August to Al Foqaa police station.
The police were alerted by an inspector at the operations section of a gas company, whose name the stickers had been faked and illegally traded.
"Officers from the civil defense informed us about suspicious gas cylinders that carried our brand name. We moved to the warehouse from where the accused were carrying out their illegal activities," the inspector said.
"We learned they would buy and transport gas cylinders from the original trader and then refill them inside empty cylinders, thus manipulating the weight. By that time, we also received many complaints from customers that they had purchased half-filled cylinders. We were shocked because that would affect our reputation in the market".
The inspector added : "We also realized the defendants never respected the safety conditions when refilling the cylinders, which could put the life of the customers at risk because of explosion hazard." The material used by the accused in their illegal trade, was ordered to be confiscated by the court.
The ruling has been appealed.

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