The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Hamza M Sengendo, Staff Reporter
An elderly salesman duped a businessman into paying Dhs275, 000 to rent a shop inside a Dubai mall, a jury heard on Monday.
The African defendant, 50, posed as an official whom a leading global property developer tasked with renting out the mall’s shops. The Egyptian victim, 44, owned a consultancy company facilitating transactions for investors.
The defendant convinced him he would help find shops at the mall for his clients in case the latter paid. The defendant issued him bogus receipts attributed to the property developer indicating that procedures were under way.
He forged them by photocopying two documents, wiping data and names of parties and replacing it with bogus data, prosecutors explained. The defendant skipped the hearing. The Dubai Criminal Court set May 16 for the verdict.
On the record, a client asked the victim to find him a shop inside the mall. A friend told the victim that a realty brokerage company where the defendant worked would help find one. The victim contacted the defendant in Feb.2018.
“The defendant told me that the company signed a contract with the concerned property developer to rent out shops in the mall. We met and he asked me for Dhs20,000 fees to obtain quotations from the developer. He in April gave me documents attributed to the developer, containing details of the supposed shop, its rent cost and terms of agreement. My client signed it. The defendant demanded Dhs150,000 for having brought the quotations.
“I paid. He issued me a receipt from a receipt book belonging to the brokerage company. He later told me to deposit Dhs10,000 in his wife’s account. We asked him to reduce the rent. He instead took Dhs10,000 more, to allegedly expedite procedures.
“He in May showed up with documents attributed to the developer showing the rent was reduced. He asked for Dhs75,000 to bring final quotations after which the client would sign the rent agreement. I paid. He gave me a receipt.
“He started procrastinating and dodging me. He later said he failed to find a shop, then expressed willingness to refund. However, he defaulted. I went to his workplace. He claimed he had connections with royals. He pledged to find the shop or else refund.
“He later met my client and asked him for Dhs4 million. My client refused. The brokerage company’s general manager told me the defendant was a fraudster. He had targeted several other victims. I lodged a complaint at the Bur Dubai Police Station.”
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