Crime and Courts

UAE: Expat told to pay Dh2.6m he took from businessman in real estate scam

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on July 22, 2021


He will also pay for the plaintiff’s legal expenses.

An expat, who posed as a real estate dealer and took Dh2.45 million from an Abu Dhabi businessman after lying to him that he had sold four villas to him, has been told to return the cash.

A court also instructed the defendant to pay Dh150,000 to the businessman in compensation for the financial loss.

Official court documents revealed that the defendant and his accomplice, who is the second defendant in the case, defrauded the businessman by lying to him that he was a real estate dealer and had four beautiful villas on sale in various parts of the capital.

The businessman paid Dh300,000 to the first defendant as a down payment for the first villa and received an invoice from him acknowledging receipt of the cash. The men then showed him a second villa and he paid Dh450,000 after they requested for a down payment on the property.

The businessman told officials that he also purchased two more villas in other areas from the defendants and paid Dh900,000 as a down payment for the third villa and Dh500,000 for the fourth one.

He said the defendants asked him for Dh200,000 to complete the municipal procedures and the sum was paid in the presence of witnesses, bringing the total amount to Dh2.45 million.

After receiving the cash, the men failed to process the municipality documents for him as proof of ownership and also did not hand him the properties.

The businessman later realised that it was a scam as the men had showed him forged documents claiming that the villas belonged to them, which was not the case.

He lodged a criminal complaint against the duo. The Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance sentenced the first defendant to three years in jail for forgery and fraud. The court also ordered that he be deported after serving his sentence. The second man was jailed for a year after he was found guilty of forging official documents.

The businessman then filed a civil lawsuit against the first defendant demanding Dh2.45 million he paid to him and another Dh1 million in compensation for the financial and moral damages.

After hearing all the parties, the Abu Dhabi Civil Court instructed the man to return all the cash he took from the plaintiff for selling him the villas and to pay another Dh150,000 in compensation for the financial and moral damages.

He will also pay for the plaintiff’s legal expenses.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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