Duo fined Dhs300,000 over fake trade licence - GulfToday

Duo fined Dhs300,000 over fake trade licence

Dubai-Court

Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Hamza M Sengendo, Staff Reporter

A businesswoman and a manager who teamed up to obtain a trade licence through fraudulent means have lost an appeal against a Dhs300, 000 fine. The American businesswoman, 56, and Arab public affairs manager, 41, first appeared at the Dubai Criminal Court on Mar.20 over forgery and use of forged documents as per Bur Dubai Police Station findings.

They forged a No Objection Letter they attributed to a female Australian investor’s accounting company. They indicated that she allowed (her employee) the businesswoman to establish her company.

They submitted the letter to an economic development department through a service centre and applied for a trade licence. They thus committed e-forgery and fraudulently obtained a trade licence.

In court, the manager argued that he received the letter from the businesswoman and he was not aware it was forged. He added that another person was the one who processed the licence upon her request.

“Absolutely not,” the businesswoman reiterated then contended. “I don’t write Arabic nor speak it. Perhaps a PRO was the one who forged these two documents.” The judge asked, “Which PRO?”

She pointed at the manager. The manager told the court he owned a private company -a transactions clearance company- and insisted that one of his employees might be the one behind forgery.

The Dubai Criminal Court imprisoned them for three months plus deportation. It slapped each one with a Dhs150, 000 fine. They sought to challenge the ruling at the Dubai Appeals Court but lost the case. The Australian investor, 33, narrated that the businesswoman was working at her company as an accountant. In Aug.2017 she submitted her resignation and noted that she had found a better opportunity.

The investor accepted the resignation. A period later, the investor learnt from various clients that the businesswoman contacted them via email telling them that she established her own company.

In the emails she asked the clients to execute deals through her company.  “I wondered because economic department’s stipulations necessitated that she had to obtain a No Objection Letter.

“I went to the department’s branch in Al Barsha and asked about her company,” said the investor. “An official told me she opened up an accounting company conducting the same business as mine.”

The investor sent her lawyer to the department for more information. The lawyer discovered that a No Objection Letter attributed to her company was attached to the trade licence application.

The letter was in Arabic. “I never issued the letter. It was forged,” stressed the investor, adding that it contained a bogus signature attributed to her since she was the one eligible to issue such letters.