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Dubai official offered Dh600,000 to release sandalwood containers

mary@khaleejtimes.com Filed on September 4, 2016
Dubai official offered Dh600,000 to release sandalwood containers

(Illustrative purpose)

Containers from India stopped at Jebel Ali Port, banned merchandise belonged to Indian

Seven men from different nationalities stood trial in the Court of First Instance on Sunday for trying to influence a customs inspector officer last October.

One of the accused, a 26-year-old Emirati man denied approaching the customs inspector with Dh600,000, offered by a Syrian manager, to make the officer release six containers of banned sandalwood seized at Jebel Ali Port.

According to prosecution records, the unemployed Emirati was trying to help the 29-year-old manager by mediating the deal with the customs officer. He was to collect Dh 100,000 for his alleged part in the bribery.

The manager who works in the field of clearance of shipments denied the charge of offering a bribe to a public officer.

Five other men, including an Egyptian accountant, aged 27, one Indian cook, aged 37, two Yemenis (one of them is a cop, aged 53), and a 28-year-old Emirati police lieutenant, also denied in court being criminal accomplices.

The incident dates back to October last year and the containers were coming from India.

In the investigation, the manager reportedly admitted that he sought the help of the Emirati man, who is accused of mediation, in the clearance of the banned merchandise that belonged to an Indian man.

"I met him online then went to see him at a café in Deira. I told him about the six containers with the banned goods that needed to exit the port."

The Emirati then told him he had a friend who worked in customs. He allegedly sent the relevant documents to the inspector on WhatsApp.

The inspector, a 25-year-old Emirati, told the prosecutor that the Emirati first accused phoned him and solicited his help regarding the release of six containers of banned material.

"He offered me Dh100,000 for every container and made me talk with the manager.

"He called me again few minutes later and told me the manager knew other employees at the port and they would accept Dh120,000 for that favour," the customs inspector told the investigators.

The inspector made the two men think he would accept the offer while talking to them in a group phone call.

But he informed his superior and the customs director about the proposal. He said in his statement that the duo also wanted his help regarding 11 more containers with other banned and fake goods.

The incident took place between October 10 and October 27, last year.

mary@khaleejtimes.com

NUMBER BLURB

Dh600,000

is the amount two suspects had offered to Emirati customs official

Marie Nammour

Originally from Lebanon, Marie has been covering the Dubai Courts and the Public Prosecution, immigration and labour issues often, and the Dubai International Film Festival. A graduate from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Jounieh, a city to the north of Beirut, she worked as an in-house reporter of international affairs at a leading TV station back home and a legal translator for a renowned law academy in the Lebanese capital. Speaks fluently four languages and is fond of travelling, psychology, learning more, and has grown by now a rich ‘criminal’ imagination...


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