A Dubai Police corporal was handed a one-year suspended imprisonment for embezzling Dh43,000 from the lost and found section at a police station where he was posted.
Citing grounds of leniency, the Dubai Court of First Instance handed the 34-year-old corporal a suspended jail sentence in a retrial on Monday.
However, presiding judge Urfan Omar fined the defendant Dh43,000 [the embezzled amount] for abusing his duties in the police force and embezzling the cash [found by policemen across Dubai] that used to be brought by his colleagues to the lost and found section where he worked in April. The accused had denied abusing his authority and embezzling Dh43,000.
The accused was earlier sentenced in absentia. He requested a retrial and was handed a suspended punishment after he returned the embezzled money.
The accused was cited as telling prosecutors that he stole the money from a transparent envelope that was brought to his section by another policeman.
“When the other policeman brought a carton full of lost and found items and envelopes that contained money, I put the box down on the floor beside my desk. I took advantage of the fact that my colleagues were busy with their duties and took the biggest envelope. Then I taped the box again so that nobody would notice what I had done. I paid Dh15,000 for modifications to my car and I spent the rest on entertainment,” the 34-year-old was quoted telling prosecutors.
A police first corporal said Dh43,000 that was left behind by a hotel guest had been handed over to the section.
“The lost and found items are usually recorded separately. While checking out the envelopes, we discovered that the envelope was missing,” he claimed.
Records said another policeman was accused initially of embezzling the money before the defendant confessed that he had taken the money.
Monday’s ruling remains subject to appeal within 15 days.