The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Hamza M. Sengendo, Staff Reporter
A soldier wanted to double Dhs120,000 he had allocated for his wedding expenses, within two hours. He lost it all to a trickster.
The trickster –an Arab businessman, 39 – posted an online ad showing he allegedly had a profitable business that could double the invested money within two hours. The Emirati soldier, 23, fell into the trap.
The businessman committed forgery on a trade licence’s copy by erasing data concerning its number and also changed the name of the establishment. He handed it to the soldier and swindled his Dhs120,000.
The scam came to light on Nov.12 last year. The Dubai Criminal Court has ordered the businessman to spend one year in jail plus deportation. He was also referred to another Dubai court over a related civil lawsuit.
Before prosecutors, the soldier said he had allocated Dhs120,000 to cover his wedding expenses. Meanwhile, he visited a classifieds website and came across an ad posted by the defendant, bearing his contact number.
In the ad he noted that there was a project yielding profits in two hours. “I contacted him. He told me that his Emirati sponsor had a petroleum company trade licence. And that he was his sponsor’s business associate.
“He claimed the sponsor wanted to sell the trade licence to a Lebanese man but the latter demanded that the licence be renewed first and all fines slapped against it be cleared, allegedly worth Dhs120, 000.
“He offered to sell the licence to me so I could resell it to the Lebanese man at twice the sum. I accepted and asked to meet him and all parties and a lawyer at a registration office in Al Qusais,” explained the soldier. He went with the cash and found the defendant alone. “I asked him about the licence’s parties and the lawyer. He claimed they were coming. He took me inside a café behind the office and got the money from me.
“I told him to write a statement about the money. He titled the statement ‘Trust Receipt’ then wrote about supposed two-hour profits and repayments. He took me off guard, turned the page and titled it ‘Agreement.’ He handed it to me.
“He said he was going to meet a Sudanese man who would conduct the licence’s renewal procedures. He did not return. I sent him WhatsApp messages. He blocked my number. I sent him ordinary text messages. He put my number in the reject list. I realised he conned me out of my money.”
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