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Eight accused of stealing Dh5m in Dewa security deposits

Suspects forged paperwork to 4,750 transactions to embezzle the funds

Gulf News

Dubai: Eight people have been accused of defrauding the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) of around Dh5 million.

The accused — a businessman, an administrator and six others — allegedly forged the paperwork to more than 4,750 transactions to obtain security deposit refunds, a court heard on Monday.

According to the 36-year-old businessman, who owns a services company, he met the 34-year-old Nepalese security guard at a nightclub in January 2016.

“I met my countryman at the nightclub and we were drinking when I complained to him how my company was losing [money]. I told him that earlier I had a restaurant that I was forced to close down because it was not making profit,” he told prosecutors.

According to records, the security guard introduced the businessman to a 41-year-old Indian administrator, who worked for Dewa’s Customer Happiness Centre.

Both men told the businessman that they had been embezzling money from Dewa using forged paperwork and got him to join in their scheme.

The men were busted when one alert Dewa employee smelt a rat and alerted his director, who initiated an internal probe that implicated the Indian administrator.

Dewa filed a police report and investigations established that a total of eight people had been involved. The Nepalese businessman and a 32-year-old Indian clerk were arrested while the other six remain at large but are being tried in absentia.

The two that were detained pleaded guilty to the charges when they appeared before presiding judge Habib Awad of the Dubai Court of First Instance.

According to prosecution records, the fraud took place between May 2014 and March 2018.

Prosecutors said the suspects forged security deposit refund paperwork for commercial and residential units registered in names of individuals and corporates.

They would then submit the forged papers to Dewa to obtain the security deposits, which they transferred to different bank accounts.

During Monday’s hearing, the two suspects submitted their written defence arguments to presiding judge Awad who will hand out a ruling on November 5.

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