Crime and Courts

Woman uses fake trade licence to swindle businessman of Dh143,000 Filed on March 20, 2019
Woman uses fake trade licence to swindle businessman of Dh143,000 


She agreed to get a trade licence for an American businessman for a café set up in Internet City.

A general manager, who allegedly misappropriated Dh143,000 from a businessman, went on trial at a Dubai court on Wednesday.

Prosecutors accused the 44-year-old Filipina manager of embezzling Dh143,000, which she had collected on several occasions from the American businessman to do necessary transactions, including getting a trade licence issued for a café set up in Internet City.

She was also supposed to settle up other expenses and fees for the business.

The woman is accused at the Court of First Instance of forging a trade licence and using it. She has also been charged with forging a payment receipt, which she falsely attributed to a bogus transaction clearance office, faking a seal on it, and fraud.

Chief prosecutor Ahmed Al Attar referred her to trial with a plea that she receives the strictest legal punishment possible.

The case dates back to and prior to April 18, last year.

The complainant, 41, an American of Syrian origin, recounted how he learned through staff at the Al Barsha branch of the department of economic development that the trade licence handed over to him by the accused was forged. "I told them I had nothing to do with the forgery and they instructed me to file a complaint at the police station."

He said he had an agreement with the defendant to set up a café for him in the Internet City. "I paid her Dh143,000 to finalise the formalities, including having a trade licence issued for the business. She sent me a copy of a document on WhatsApp which I later found was fake. She wanted me to pay her for the rent and workers' residence visas. But she had got no transaction done in reality."  

When his lawyer contacted her, she apologised pledging to return the amount and not to report the matter to the police. 

The businessman told the prosecutor the woman duped him by claiming she worked for a transaction clearance office. "She showed me a business card introducing herself as a manager and gave me forged receipts to gain my trust."

A police sergeant said the incident was reported at 10am on April 18, 2018 by the lawyer. "We apprehended the woman after 8:30pm on July 8 in Abu Hail. During interrogation, she claimed she gave the money to her office and then went on leave. She also said she was unaware whether the licence was forged."

The trial has been adjourned to April 10. 




Marie Nammour

Originally from Lebanon, Marie has been covering the Dubai Courts and the Public Prosecution, immigration and labour issues often, Lebanese community-related affairs and the Dubai International Film Festival. A graduate from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Jounieh, a city to the north of Beirut, Marie worked as an in-house reporter, covering international affairs for the LBCI and the LBC Sat (Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International), a leading TV station back home and a legal translator for Sagesse, a renowned law college in the heart of the Lebanese capital. Marie speaks fluently Arabic, French, English and Spanish. She is fond of travelling, psychology, learning more and of the French literature.

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