Dubai: Three men have gone on trial accused of selling a villa they didn’t own for half of its Dh17 million asking price after forging power of attorney papers, a Dubai court heard on Thursday.
The defendants, an Uzbek man who is still at large, a 54-year-old businessman from St Kitts and Nevis and his 33-year-old Russian business partner, are accused of forgery and use of forged documents.
The villa’s real owner met the Uzbek defendant nearly two years before the incident through a real-estate agency when he bought the villa.
“I bought the villa for Dh17 million,” said the 30-year-old villa owner from China. “I called him and asked to find me another one to lease because I intended to have mine redecorated. He also helped me to find a decoration company and I made a deal with them for Dh900,000.”
In February of last year, the owner left the Uzbek accused responsible for following up on the redecoration of his villa at Palm Jumeirah in between his constant travels.
“I gave him a power of attorney, but only allowing him to follow up on the redecoration work at the villa, not to sell it. One of my friends then told me that my villa was on sale online,” added the victim.
The victim saw a man [the second defendant] inside the villa, who claimed that he had bought it from the Uzbek defendant at half its price.
He reported the fraud to Dubai Police who found out that the Uzbek accused had left the country.
Investigations revealed that the Uzbek’s accomplices helped him forge the power of attorney along with other documents, including a false passport of the victim.
He then submitted the forged documents to the Land Department to have the villa registered in the buyer’s name.
Two defendants were present in court and denied the criminal abetting charges.
The trial has been adjourned until September 23.