Dozens of workers stood trial in Abu Dhabi for allegedly forging medical fitness certificates to complete the residence visa process without undergoing medical tests.
The Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance heard that the defendants, including 76 men and six women, had submitted fake fitness certificates to authorities, which they had acquired illegally.
The agents or brokers, who also stood trial, were allegedly charging between Dh1,200 to Dh2,000 for issuing medical fitness certificates to people with infectious diseases.
They had forged medical fitness certificate papers and medical fitness centre stamps and sold them to the workers.
Court documents stated that the defendants, mostly Asians, were caught after authorities discovered that they had submitted fake fitness certificates to complete their Emirates ID and visa processes.
Prosecutors said that an employee of the Emirates Identity Authority suspected the medical fitness certificate submitted by an Asian woman was fake.
Further investigations and probe into medical checklists and fitness certificates submitted by other workers revealed that dozens of people had submitted forged fitness certificates to authorities. Investigations also revealed that some of the workers who had earlier failed the fitness tests had submitted fitness certificates to authorities, showing that they had passed the tests.
The defendants were charged with forging official documents while the brokers were charged with issuing fake documents and taking money from people. Majority of the defendants had denied forging the medical fitness certificates, stating that they underwent the necessary medical tests at authorised medical centres and that they handed in their fitness certificates to their company representatives to complete the visa process.
The men said they were not suffering from any illness that could have prevented them from undergoing medical tests and requested that they be taken for fresh fitness tests.The defendants, who admitted to the charges, said an agent they met at one of the medical centres convinced them to go for the fake documents.
The men said they suffered from infectious diseases and were afraid they would be deported from the UAE if they didn’t pass the fitness tests.
The trial was adjourned until April.
People suffering from HIV-AIDS, hepatitis and tuberculosis are not granted permit to work in the UAE.
source: Ismael Sebugwaawo