Dubai: A business consultant has been cleared of the charges of tricking a businessman, who wanted to start a trading company in Dubai, and embezzling more than Dh18 million from him.
The South African businessman on a visit to Dubai, met the 34-year-old Pakistani business consultant for setting up a company to trade in gold and other metals in 2015.
The consultant was reported to have lied to the businessman that he worked as a consultant for establishing companies in Dubai, according to records, before the South African agreed to do business with him.
The South African businessman was said to have paid the Pakistani consultant money to obtain the required papers from the Department of Economic Development in Dubai and to rent an office for the company that he was planning to set up.
Having been appointed a manager in the company, the Pakistani used to get money from the South African businessman and then he would send the money to South Africa to buy gold to be imported to Dubai.
In November 2016, the businessman decided to close down the company and carry out an inventory to calculate the assets that were around Dh18 million [including the consultant’s share].
Records showed the Pakistani consultant met with a Briton, one of the company’s assistant manager, who had come to collect Dh18 million from him.
The Pakistani consultant told the British assistant manager that the police had seized the money for a particular reason and that they had to pay Dh1.2 million in fees to release it.
Afterwards, the consultant took the assistant manager to meet someone in Deira and on the way three men, who claimed to be policemen stopped them, according to records.
The Pakistani consultant informed the British assistant manager that he would go with the three men and try to solve the matter and get the money released.
The Pakistani later contacted the Briton and gave him the police and prosecution papers to confirm that the seized money would only be released after paying a fee of Dh1.2 million.
The South African businessman complained to the police when he realised that he had been deceived and swindled.
Primary police interrogation led to the arrest of the Pakistani consultant but the three men who posed as policemen, remain at large.
Citing lack of corroborated and strong evidence, the Dubai Court of First Instance dismissed the criminal charges of forgery, swindling and embezzlement against the Pakistani consultant.
The suspect strongly denied the charges of conspiring with the three fugitives against the businessmen, cheating and swindling him and embezzling his money using forged police and prosecution papers.
He also refuted the accusation of abetting the three fugitives in posing as policemen and stealing Dh18 million.
In court, he pleaded not guilty and told the presiding judge that he had nothing to do with the forgery.
When asked about his relationship with the South African businessman, he told the court that he was his business partner and owed him money, so he fabricated the case after he failed to pay him on time.
Prosecutors have appealed the man’s acquittal.