Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
Sohaila Ahmed, Staff Reporter
A British man and his father have been sentenced to three years in prison each for scamming a dozen of suppliers out of more than Dhs8 million.
A third countryman involved in the case has been cleared by the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours. The court was told how the man had fled Dubai leaving his father and a colleague to face justice after 13 companies reported them for financial fraud.
Prosecutors said the 32-year-old British was the CEO of two companies in Dubai and his father was working with him.
He and his father, 58, claimed to have signed billion dirham contracts with Dubai Expo then used these claims to scam suppliers into selling them products worth millions using dud cheques.
Prosecutors also charged a fellow Briton, 35, sales executive at one of the companies, of taking part in the fraud but he was acquitted by the court.
The son and his father opened offices, a warehouse and hired staff to carry out the scam and placed adverts in English local newspapers during August last year seeking to purchase different products.
Suppliers of different types of products contacted the defendants based on the adverts before striking deals with them and providing them with different products worth more than Dhs8 million.
After the cheques bounced, duped companies reported the incidents to Jebel Ali police station last October.
"I met the son and his father at their offices in Dubai’s Investment Park,” said a British manager of fencing services company.
They asked him to provide their company with fencing materials worth Dhs536,000. "I did so but the cheques I was handed in return for the products bounced,” he said.
Another victim who supplied the defendants with Dhs4 million worth of carpets visited their office after the cheques they gave him bounced.
"Their office was empty,” added the other victim, a Turkish national.
A third company was paid in dud cheques after supplying the defendants with ceramics valued at Dhs1.4 million.
Another victim was scammed out of Dhs819,000 in plastic materials worth.
All victims told investigators they visited the offices of the defendants’ two companies where they once saw an active business and employees, but later found the offices empty.
Dubai Public Prosecution charged the defendants with fraudulently obtaining millions in cash and products.
The father and the sales executive denied the charge while the son remains at large. The sales executive has additionally charged with issuing the bounced cheques.
His lawyer, Emirati lawyer Awatif Mohammad Khouri from Al Rowaad Advocates proved as per records that the cheques were issued, signed and handled by the British CEO.
"Some of the victims proved my client as part of their testimonies had not issued nor handed them the cheques,” she said.
The father and son were each sentenced to three years in prison to be followed by deportation and were jointly fined Dhs14.7 million.
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