Fourteen Dubai government officials, including six senior officers, have been arrested for graft and embezzlement in a new round of naming and shaming of corrupt officials. Among those arrested, according to a statement from the Anti-Corruption Unit, was Lt. Col. Eessa Saif Eessa Al Ali, the 43-year-old head of the passports section at Dubai International Airport.
Those arrested have been accused of embezzling Dh 4.6 million in government funds, according to the Anti-Corruption Unit. The Public Prosecution Department is studying the evidence produced by the Anti-Corruption Unit and it is expected that all 14 will be referred to Dubai's courts to determine their guilt.
The arrests come one week after it was announced that Dr Obaid Saqr Busit, Head of Dubai Ports and Customs and two of his top aides had been accused of illegally amassing tens of millions of dirhams. All the arrested officials have been accused of abusing the trust of government and exploiting their jobs for personal gain.
Yesterday Mohammed Nakhira Al Dhaheri, UAE Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs and Awqaf called on everyone living in the UAE to help the fight against corruption. Al Dhaheri, who said cases of corruption were rare in the UAE, ruled out the introduction of specific anti-corruption laws saying the present Penal Code contained sufficient punishments.
According to reports in the local Arabic newspapers, the latest arrests were in line with instructions issued by General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and UAE Defence Minister, to weed out wrong doing by government officials and that the details of all detected cases should be exposed to the public.
The statement said: "Based on the directives of Sheikh Mohammed that administrative corruption in government departments and establishments should be detected and all details related to this kind of crime should be made public, so that they are aware of those civil servants who betrayed and abused the trust of the government and exploited their jobs to embezzle public money, the Anti-Corruption Unit arrested a group of corrupt civil servants after they had been proved to be involved in administrative corruption and interrogated so that more details would be divulged."
The statement identified the six senior officers as:
First Adjutant Adel Obaid Rashid Al Shuhi, 36, who worked as a passport officer in the Passport and Immigration Department at Dubai International Airport's Free Zone. He has been accused of embezzling Dh1.6 million.
Lt Col Eessa Saif Eessa Al Ali, 43. Head of Dubai International Airport's passports section in the Immigration and Passports Department. He has been accused of embezzling Dh1.3 million.
Corporal Saif Ahmed Saeed Al Marri, 33, a civil servant in the accounting bureau in the Immigration and Passports Department. He has been accused of embezzling Dh891,000. Major Abdullah Khalifa Sulaiman, 47, a passport officer at Dubai International Airport's Immigration and Passports Department. He has been accused of embezzling Dh350,000.
First Adjutant Hussain Abdullah Ibrahim Al Hamadi, 48, a civil servant at the accounting bureau in Dubai International Airports' Immigration and Passports section. He has been accused of embezzling Dh316,000.
Sami Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Ali, a policeman working as a civil servant at the labour section in the General Department of Immigration and Residency. He has been accused of embezzling Dh180,000.
The remaining eight officials were named as Dubai International Airport passport official First Adjutant Mohammed Fareed Waleed Khamis; Dubai International Airport Free Zone passport official First Adjutant Ali Nasir Mohammed Al Tahir; Dubai International Airport Free Zone passport official First Adjutant Ahmed Ishaq Mal Alla; First Adjutant Ahmed Abdulla Ahmed Al Goder, an official in the immigration department at Dubai International Airport; First Adjutant Ahmed Jumma Hassan Mohammed, an official in the clerical section at Dubai International Airport; First Adjutant Ahmed Hassan Habeeb Sajuani, a passport official at Dubai International Airport's Free Zone; Second Lieutenant Mohammed Hassan Mohammed Ali Warsho, a passport official at Dubai International Airport's Free Zone and policeman Faisal Mohammed Abdul Kareem Hassan Al Mur.
According to the Anti-Corruption Unit statement, the accused have confessed to the charges of pocketing money from the stamp revenues of the Ministry of Interior and the revenues of visas fees of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing over a period of years.
"Instead of depositing the revenues in the safe they stole them for their personal benefit," The unit's statement said. Sheikh Mohammed has instructed that legal action should be taken against the officials as soon as possible and that their cases should be referred to the Public Prosecution Department for further interrogation and subsequently the courts for punishment.
The Anti-Corruption Unit's statement said investigations into other illegal practices was continuing and the names of suspects and details of their crimes would be announced when investigations are complete.
The unit was established by Sheikh Mohammed to spearhead the fight against administrative corruption in Dubai government departments and institutions.
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