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Investor imprisoned over rental fraud bid
BY HAMZA M SENGENDO January 13, 2018
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DUBAI: An investor who forged a Power of Attorney letter during a bid to swindle Dhs130,000 in a rental fraud scheme, has failed to convince the Appeals Court to clear him.

The Arab investor, 47, with the help of a fugitive accomplice counterfeited a Powers of Attorney letter’s copy endorsed by the Dubai Court’s Notary Public in 2016, the Dubai Criminal Court learnt.

They devised a scheme to rent out the apartment of a Frenchman in Downtown. They presented the letter’s copy to a realty broker in a bid to swindle the cash from the broker’s client.

During a hearing on Sept.24, 2017 he denied the charges. The court later sentenced him to six months behind bars to be followed by deportation. He sought to challenge the ruling at the Appeals Court.

He argued that he had nothing to do with the POA letter and contended that during the time of the “alleged incident I was in jail in Sharjah over another case.” However, the Appeals Court has binned his plea.

The Frenchman narrated that he rented out the apartment at a tower to a tenant (the convict) for a year. He later discovered that the tenant forged documents and faked his signature on a POA letter.

“I never signed any POA letter. He was a mere tenant. Also, I never escorted him or any one else to the Notary Public,” he explained.

The female broker said that a client came looking for an apartment in the Business Bay. “I searched on a classifieds website and found him one at the tower in Downtown. I contacted the number provided on the ad.

“The recipient told me the apartment was for Dhs30,000. We agreed to meet at a hotel. He turned out to be the defendant. He told me he had a POA letter and claimed that the apartment’s owner travelled abroad.

“I asked him to present the apartment’s necessary documents. He did not have them. I left the hotel. On Oct.20, 2016 he emailed me the required documents except a copy of the French owner’s passport.

“I suspected him and refused to conclude the procedures. I obtained the apartment owner’s phone number from the tower’s watchman. I contacted him and he told me he never tasked anyone with renting out the apartment.”

The defendant during prosecution interrogations confessed and revealed he committed the crime with the help of an accomplice who played the role of a translator. And that it was the latter who emailed the broker.

The defendant also acknowledged that the email address the accomplice used belonged to him. Bur Dubai Police Station records showed that during an identity parade, the broker recognised him.

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