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File image of Dubai skyline: Dubai Courts issued the order against the defendant in absentia Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: A man has been sentenced in absentia to five years in jail for forging official documents to scam a Dubai businessman of Dh7.7 million.

The Dubai Court of First Instance ordered the payment of a Dh7.7 million fine by the defendant, followed by deportation.

According to official records, the defendant had sold a fake property in Dubai to the businessman, forged the receipts and other official documents to con the 42-year-old victim.

The victim testified that he met the British defendant at his office at a real estate company on Shaikh Zayed Road and offered him hotel accommodations at an upcoming project near Burj Khalifa. The place belonged to a leading real estate company based in Dubai.

“We agreed to buy it for Dh7.7 million. I paid the money in three advance payments in 2015,” said the Egyptian businessman on record.

The defendant presented the receipts to the businessman and later gave him a contract purportedly issued by a Dubai government department with official stamps.

“He claimed that the unit had been registered under my name and that the final contract would be given to me by the end of the project.”

In 2018, the businessman went to the property company, asking about the unit he had bought and provided them with all the receipts, but those at the realty office told him that the documents were all fake and weren’t issued by them.

He then went to the defendant’s company where the employees told him that the defendant had escaped from the country and that he had scammed other customers and embezzled the company’s funds as well.

“The project was real, but the unit [that was apparently sold to me] was fake,” he said.

Dubai Public Prosecution has charged the defendant with forgery, using forged documents and illegally obtaining Dh7.7 million from the businessman.