Dubai: A residency sergeant has been jailed for a year and fined Dh448,000 for abusing his authority and forging e-transactions to embezzle more than Dh324,000 while he was stationed at the Dubai International Airport.
The Emirati defendant, who worked a sergeant for the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs [GDRFA] at the airport offices, was tasked with different GDRFA transactions such as issuing travel permits, cancelling residency, removing travel bans based on absconding reports, collecting fines from illegal workers and residents, collecting fees for entering and exiting the country and carrying out the iris scan.
The accused abused the login credentials and accessed the GDRFA’s e-system to forge tens of transactions and kept the fees with himself.
He used to collect the fees himself rather than directing clients to go to the bank branch at the airport to pay the fees.
The defendant also embezzled Dh53,000 in deposits paid for absconding reports, deportation fees and fees paid to list sponsors.
On Sunday, the Dubai Court of First Instance jailed the Emirati defendant and fined him Dh448,000 and ordered him to repay Dh318,000 to GDRFA. According to the primary judgement, presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi also jailed an Egyptian businessman for one year for paying bribe to the Emirati defendant to help him obtain a receipt that he had paid Dh104,000 in residency fines without actually paying it.
The act enabled the Egyptian businessman to exit Dubai and re-enter as a business partner in a trading company.
Presiding judge Al Shamsi also fined the Egyptian accused Dh124,000 and to repay Dh114,000 to GDRFA.
The Egyptian accused will be deported following the completion of his punishment.
Records said the former sergeant abused office, forged e-transactions and accepted bribes.
The Egyptian defendant bribed the Emirati and abetted him in the e-forgery.
The duo pleaded not guilty.
A Palestinian resident testified that he visited the airport’s GDRFA office to get a residency transaction done for his maid.
“Upon visiting the counter where the suspected sergeant was stationed, the latter asked me to pay him the fees in cash and asked me to wait. I called up my acquaintance at the GDRFA while waiting and he told me to meet him up to discuss the defendant’s request. I went to my acquaintance and I cooperated with the GDRFA officials to have the defendant apprehended in a sting operation,” said the Palestinian resident.
Further interrogations revealed that the accused took bribe from the Egyptian businessman to record in the GDRFA system that his residency fines had been paid but actually they were not.
Sunday’s ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.