Dubai: An investor has been accused of forging papers and documents in an attempt to swindle Dh5 million from a businessman’s proceeds in selling gemstones, a court heard on Wednesday.
The American businessman was said to have been involved in a deal to sell rare gemstones and use the proceeds to help start a project to build mosques and centres for the needy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 2016.
Once the businessman agreed with the owners on the process of selling the gemstones, he communicated with his friend about using the bank account of a company owned by the American investor, 62, records said.
The businessman contacted his friend on the grounds that he was authorised by the investor to sign on papers allowing him to deposit and withdraw cash from the company’s account.
As per the deal, the gemstones were sold in Turkey to the buyers, who transferred the Dh5 million to the Dubai-based company’s account.
When the businessman went to cash the proceeds, the bank’s management refused to give him the money, saying that his friend had to be present in person.
Afterwards, the bank notified the American businessman that the Dh5 million had been frozen and he would not able to cash it anymore, as his friend’s authorisation had been cancelled.
As he visited the bank to review what had happened, the businessman was notified that the 62-year-old investor had cancelled the friend’s authorisation to use the bank account.
The businessman submitted a written objection to the bank management to reverse the decision [to cancel the authorisation] and came to know later that the papers that were submitted by the investor turned out to be forged.
The businessman complained to the police, who apprehended the investor.
Prosecutors accused the suspect of forging papers and documents submitted to the bank, in order to cancel the friend’s authorisation and in an attempt to swindle the money.
According to the accusation sheet, prosecutors said the suspect forged the Dubai airport entry stamp on the passport of the businessman’s friend and photocopied that stamp. Then, he submitted the forged papers to the bank to cancel the friend’s authorisation, in an attempt to transfer the Dh5 million to himself in his capacity at the company owner.
The American suspect pleaded not guilty and refuted all his accusations before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Wednesday.
“Absolutely not … no sir. I haven’t,” he told presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi.
When the forged papers were shown to the suspect in courtroom three, he argued: “I have never seen them … looks like my signature but I have never seen it. I did no such thing. The signature under questions was for another subject for my company’s bank account.”
The American businessman told prosecutors: “I called up my friend and notified him that I need the bank account details of the company owned by the suspect. My friend was authorised to use the company’s account … I obtained a written authorisation from my friend, allowing me to withdraw the price of selling the gemstones after the buyers had transferred the cash to the company’s account. I presented the gemstones’ ownership papers and a copy of the deal to the bank as proof, but I was not allowed to collect the cash. The bank’s management told me that my friend should be present to be allowed to withdraw the money. Later, I complained to the police once it was discovered that the suspect had submitted forged documents in which he cancelled my friend’s authorisation in a bid to swindle my money.”
The suspect will hire a lawyer to defend him when the court reconvenes on November 11.