The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Hamza M Sengendo, Staff Reporter
Three men and a woman raked in Dhs1,219,500 after selling out non-existent flats, the Dubai Criminal Court heard on Wednesday.
The Asian defendants – a realty developer, 30, a female sales executive, 29, and a sales manager, 29 – with the help of the sales manager’s Arab assistant, 42, and a fugitive person faked a realty project registration document.
To facilitate the scam, they noted on the document that the project (a complex allegedly situated in Al Furjan) was registered at the Land Department. They announced the complex’s flats for sale and at very attractive prices. The sales manager, assistant and others presented the bogus document to clients. A Saudi businessman paid Dhs908,324, an Egyptian official paid Dhs81,200 and another Arab complainant paid Dhs230,000.
During Criminal Court questioning, the developer and executive refuted the allegations. The manager and his assistant said they were mere employees working in goodwill. Lawyers asked for time. Case continues on Jul.10. On the record, the Egyptian official said he was looking for a flat. His wife discovered online ads about flats for sale at the ghost project. “I went to the mentioned headquarters of the concerned realty institution,” he explained.
“There were more than 120 saleswomen in the building’s corridors luring clients in an attractive manner through the way they dressed and acted. I met the sales manager and his assistant and discussed the purchase deal.”
He agreed to buy the two-bedroom flat at Dhs580,000. They asked him for Dhs81,200 (10 per cent of which was the down payment and 4 per cent were Land Department fees). He paid. The initial agreement was met. The sales manager signed and stamped the agreement then told him that the realty institution’s owner (the above developer who was allegedly not dealing directly with clients) would sign on the final purchase agreement.
The official heard rumoUrs that the project was phony. He talked to a friend and learnt that the latter had purchased the same flat at Dhs50,000. “I went to the Land Department and confirmed I fell victim to a scam,” he said.
The Saudi businessman said he learnt about the project through a female acquaintance – an innocent Tunisian housewife who had joined the realty institution as a saleswoman on probation. He booked two floors and a flat. She later requested him not to book another flat because she discovered the project was not yet registered. She advised him to confirm from the Land Department. “There, I learnt that I was conned,” he complained.
A bank’s service agent forged a customer’s signature on a cheque, which he stole form his chequebook, and managed to withdraw Dhs1.2 million from the account concerned. The customer was reportedly completing a transaction at the suspect’s office when the latter surreptitiously stole a cheque from the former’s chequebook.
A fraudster who posed as a prince and used counterfeit Dubai Courts documents to swindle cash from a female investor will spend one year behind bars.
Ten alleged serial scammers were hauled back into court on Tuesday for siphoning Dhs784,400 from an elderly Emirati trader’s bank account.
"People ran out of their houses and were reciting the Quran," an AFP correspondent in Rawalpindi said, with similar reports coming from the capital Islamabad, Lahore and elsewhere in the country.
The committee said, “The Crescent for the month of Ramadan was NOT SEEN in Saudi Arabia today, subsequently Thursday 23rd March 2023 will be the first Day of Ramadan. Taraweeh Prayers will begin following Isha Prayers tomorrow."
The Shariah courts across the country will monitor and notify the committee of any sightings, while the Lunar Calendar Committee at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department will continue to gather evidence and report its findings to the Moon-Sighting Committee.