Don't fall for easy money schemes, residents warned

Abu Dhabi - The warning followed an ongoing trial of 51 men at the Abu Dhabi Misdemeanour Court, accused of defrauding nearly 2,000 people out of Dh800 million in a car investment scam



by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Tue 25 Jul 2017, 9:41 PM

Last updated: Tue 25 Jul 2017, 11:42 PM

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department has warned residents against falling victims to fraudsters or investing in financial portfolios that are not licensed by authorities.
The judicial officials also highlighted the dangers of these portfolios, and how they negatively impact employment, society and the national economy.
The warning followed an ongoing trial of 51 men at the Abu Dhabi Misdemeanour Court, accused of defrauding nearly 2,000 people out of Dh800 million in a car investment scam.
Investigations into the case - one of the biggest scams in Abu Dhabi during the recent years - showed that an Emirati main defendant in the case and his gang lured customers into buy cars from them and later, they would encourage the same customers to sell the cars, again through them, at a higher price by offering them big profits.
Prosecutors said the fraudsters promised the investors a 100 per cent return on their money, before this changed to between 70 and 80 per cent. The accused allegedly issued post-dated cheques to the investors. Those people who joined and invested first received the promised profit, which encouraged others to join the scheme that went on for a few years, according to authorities.
During the Judicial Department's 'Our Councils' lecture held in Al Ain on Monday, the authorities said people excited about getting quick and huge profits and hurrying to invest their money in businesses brought to them by certain people, did not even verify whether the investment is a licensed one or genuine.
Rashid Ateeq Al Dhahiri, head of Al Ain Public Prosecution, said: "Despite several awareness messages about gangs that lure people into investing in bogus and non-licensed businesses by promising them huge profits, some residents are still falling victims to these scams."
"Many people have lost millions of dirhams including money they borrow from banks, because they are attracted to fake and unlawful deals. People need to be very careful about certain investments, especially those involving huge profits promised in a short period of time."
Al Dhahiri added: "It's good to first investigate the people involved in an investment and also verify whether it is lawful and licensed by authorities before giving in your money."
He also explained the negative effects of fake investments to both the society and the nation's economy, saying that fraudsters damage the country's image, negatively affecting the investment environment, and the money could be used for illegal activities.
According to the Federal Law, practicing any economic activity before obtaining a licence is punishable by imprisonment of not less than three months or a fine of not less than Dh40,000. Financial fraud can result in imprisonment for a period of up to 10 years or a fine of up to Dh100,000.
ismail@khaleejtimes.com


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