The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Hamza M Sengendo, Staff Reporter
Two men who scanned a Euro500 bill and printed out fake Euro2.915m (Dhs12.254m) have won a reduced jail term.
The Asian defendant, 51, and his countryman, 36, brought the counterfeit bills to the UAE with the aim of circulating them. Customs inspectors intercepted them at the Dubai International Airport on Jul.29.2018. Both men rebuffed the charges in court. The Dubai Criminal Court found them guilty and sentenced them to three years behind bars to be followed by deportation. It ordered each one to pay a Dhs200, 000 fine.
They appealed the ruling seeking leniency from the Dubai Appeals Court. The Appeals Court has modified the jail term by slashing two years from it. However, it upheld the lower court’s fine and deportation decision. Before police and prosecutors, an Emirati inspector, 31, said he was handling passengers of a flight from Italy when the defendant arrived at the inspection point around 2:30am and passed his bag through the scanning device.
The inspector’s colleague suspected a lump of papers in the bag and asked the inspector to search it manually. “I landed on a huge quantity of suspicious Euro bills. On confronting him, he contended that the bag was not his.
“He said the countryman handed it to him before they could come to the UAE and requested him to carry it with him. He added that the countryman handed him another bag which was then registered in his name at the airport.
“He revealed it was with the baggage. We walked him to the conveyer belt. He showed it to us. It had a sticker bearing his name. I searched it manually and landed on 5, 000 Euro bills of Euro500 denominations,” explained the inspector.
“We seized a total of Euro2, 915, 500 bills and suspected they were fake on grounds they all bore the same serial number. We took some to a currency exchange shop and confirmed they were counterfeits,” the inspector concluded.
A team from Dubai Police’s anti-financial crimes management apprehended the countryman. They found him in possession of a bag containing suspicious Euro bills. He contended the bills belonged to the defendant. Investigators landed on an authentic Euro500 bill with the same serial number in the countryman’s wallet, which was supposedly the bill both men scanned and printed to produce the counterfeit Euro notes. A report from the Department of Forensic Science and Criminology regarding 20 bills selected randomly showed they were fake. Before prosecutors, the defendant said the bag and bills belonged to the countryman.
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