Dubai: A suspect has denied abusing his position and embezzling nearly Dh2.4 million from Dubai World, where prosecutors said he was hired as HR manager after submitting forged university degrees and false work experience certificates.
Prosecutors accused the 45-year-old British suspect, M.B., of abusing public office (he was a manager of Limitless, an arm of Dubai World) and embezzling the money, forging salary transfer orders and using forged graduate and post-graduate degrees.
Accused of two embezzlement counts and three forgery counts, M.B. strongly denied the charges and pleaded not guilty five times when he defended himself before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Tuesday.
Chief Prosecutor Esmail Ali Madani, Head of Public Funds Prosecution, charged the Briton of forging salary transfer orders to 13 bogus employees and embezzling Dh2.1 million.
He was additionally charged with forging a labour contract (in the name of a non-existent American named F.M.) claiming he had been hired for the company's branch in Russia and embezzled three-month salary payment of nearly Dh300,000.
"It [Limitless] was not a public company when I got hired, but it was a limited liability company … it only became public in 2011. I ask the court to drop the charges of abusing public office. I am not guilty," argued M.B. when he defended himself before Presiding Judge Mohammad Jamal Kamal.
The Briton said he was arrested in Thailand and extradited to Dubai.
He claimed that the authorities in Thailand were not informed about what he was being charged with to be extradited to Dubai. "This has never happened before," he said in an astounded voice.
Then he produced his written defence, before Presiding Judge Kamal returned the papers and said: "The court will adjourn until April 1 and the written defence should be translated and submitted in Arabic."
When the defendant was asked about his university degrees and professional qualifications, M.B. claimed he bought a forged degree for £40 (Dh233) and had only finished high school.
A Moroccan supervisor [who formerly worked for Limitless] testified that he was in charge of the company reorganisation and restructuring processes.
"I found out from the company files that M.B. signed F.M.'s papers when the latter was hired. It was mentioned that F.M. lived in Cyprus and his work experience were recorded in handwriting that was very similar to M.B.'s handwriting. His salary was Dh125,000. When I failed to communicate with F.M. via his email and contact number, I hired a private security company to check out on him," the supervisor claimed to prosecutors.
Prosecution records said the private security company discovered that F.M. did not exist. Police were informed about the incident. Later it was discovered that M.B. lied about his work experience.
He also got hired based on forged university degrees and that he wasn't among the list of graduates of the specified university.