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Businessman loses court battle with wife over Dh5 million cheque

Defendant handed one-year suspended jail term for asking bank to stop wife from encashing Dh5 million cheque

Gulf News

Dubai: A prominent businessman was handed a one-year suspended jail term for giving his wife a Dh5-million cheque and then instructing the bank to recall it.

The Syrian woman took a blank cheque from her 75-year-old Emirati husband to purchase a property overseas to secure her future and he permitted her to fill in the amount she required on the cheque in 2016.

Thereafter, the Syrian woman wrote Dh5 million on the cheque and went to encash it, according to records, before the husband’s private account manager told him over the phone that his wife had deposited the cheque in November 2016.

Based on the instructions of the Emirati businessman, according to records, the manager recalled the cheque and froze the process of having it encashed by the wife, who was advised to wait in the bank.

The wife was made to wait for four hours, during which the husband instructed the manager not to encash the cheque and in the meantime, he complained to the police that it had been lost.

The Syrian wife lodged a written complaint with the Central Bank and the Public Prosecution.

Following prolonged and thorough investigation, prosecutors accused the Emirati businessman of giving a Dh5-million cheque to his wife and then instructing the bank not to allow her to encash it.

The Dubai Misdemeanours Court found the defendant guilty of signing the cheque and sentenced him to one year in jail. However, the presiding judge suspended the imprisonment for one year, citing grounds of leniency.

The wife’s lawyer, Mohammad Abdullah Al Reda, lodged a civil lawsuit against her husband in which he argued: “The husband falsely reported to Dubai Police that the cheque had been lost. Meanwhile, the husband’s private account manager told my client that he couldn’t encash a cheque that was reported to have been lost. However, my client had obtained a receipt from the bank confirming that they had received the cheque.”

Lawyer Al Reda submitted a civil compensation claim against the Emirati businessman in which his client is seeking Dh20,100 in temporary compensation against her emotional, mental and financial damages.

“The defendant gave the cheque to his wife and when she went to encash it, he instructed his private account manager to stop the cheque and not encash it. Then he malevolently reported to the police that it had been lost,” argued Al Reda.

Meanwhile, the businessman lodged a criminal complaint against the Syrian wife accusing her of breach of trust and embezzling the cheque.

Prosecutors dismissed the defendant’s criminal claim and referred that of the wife to court.

The Misdemeanours Court convicted the husband and handed him a suspended one-year jail term. The claimant’s civil lawsuit was referred to the Dubai Civil Court.

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