Dubai: A travel consultant has been jailed for six months for embezzling Dh64,000 by forging e-visas and emailing them to holidaymakers who had planned a vacation in Dubai.
The 25-year-old Filipina, C.C., who worked as a travel consultant at a private tourism agency, forged electronic tourism visas and sent them by email to potential tourists, before embezzling the costs in January.
The Dubai Court of First Instance convicted C.C. of forging the tourism visa applications and embezzling the revenues from the agency.
The defendant pleaded guilty in court when she contended: “I forged the visas and took the money for myself.”
According to the primary ruling, presiding judge Ezzat Abdul Lat also fined the defendant Dh150,000.
The Filipina will be deported following the completion of her punishment.
Court records said the accused printed out a number of authentic tourism visa forms [obtained from Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs’ online system], made photocopies and tampered with the tourists’ details on them before sending them to potential tourists.
Then she pocketed the money sent by potential tourists, who had paid for the visas thinking they were original.
An Indian business partner in the agency testified that two tourists called them from the Philippines and notified them that the visas they had purchased were forged. “Two of our Filipino clients told us over the phone that the two tourist visas they had purchased turned out to be fake. The clients said a local travel agent in their country deals with our agency and that was how they purchased the visas. Our records revealed that C.C. had issued those e-visas. Upon confronting her with the findings, she immediately confessed that she had forged visas and embezzled Dh64,000. She admitted that she abused her duties and sold the forged visas and to cover up for her wrongdoing she also forged the receipts on Microsoft Word files. Thereafter we reported her to the police,” he claimed to prosecutors.
The ruling remains subject to appeal within 12 days.