The photo has been used for illustrtive purposes.
Hamza M Sengendo, Staff Reporter
Facebook fraudsters duped a gullible man into paying $123,200 and travel from Iraq to the UAE to claim his ‘$27 million prize,’ a court heard on Tuesday.
The African defendant, 41, flatmate, 50, and countryman, 44, with the help of fugitive accomplices swindled $123,200 (Dhs452, 500) from the Iraqi victim, as per his complaint at the Rashidiyah Police Station.
They told him the money was worth clearance fees for the $27m (Dhs99, 157, 500) prize he had allegedly won from a local Islamic bank. They and their accomplices forged $2m (Dhs7, 345,000) and Euro20,000 (Dhs82,300).
They all denied charges. Prosecutors demanded the toughest punishment. The countryman’s lawyer asked for time. The defendant and flatmate sought to have lawyers. The Criminal Court adjourned the hearing till May 21.
On the record, the victim was in Iraq at the beginning of February when a man (identified as P) on Facebook told him he won $27m from the bank. “He asked me for my passport copy to finalise procedures for wiring the prize to me.
“I paid him $21,000 for a lawyer who would follow up. He later told me the bank wanted $42,000 to recommend the prize. I sent it to the address of a man he told me. He later told me to deposit $50,000 in the account of another man.
“He later summoned me to Dubai to claim the prize. I rented at a hotel in Deira. A man identified as F met me in front of the hotel and asked me for $4,000 to transfer the prize from the bank to a security company that would deliver it to me.
“The next day he returned with another man identified as D (the countryman in disguise). They took me inside their car and showed me a bag containing an aluminum box full of $100 bundles. Each bundle had a stamp reading in Arabic.
“F pulled out a bill and poured a liquid on it. He told me to go to a money shop and confirm the bill was authentic. He told me all the bills required a chemical (to clean stamps from them). I paid him $6,200 for purchasing the chemical. He and D went their way.
“The next day F contacted saying the money was not enough. He asked me to arrange $160,000 for the chemical. I realised I had fallen victim to a scan.” Police nabbed the defendant who came to collect the money. The flatmate’s phone contained a video of many dollar bills.
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