The accused, who had pleaded not guilty, will be deported following the completion of his punishment. Image Credit: Agency

Dubai: Two men paid Dh160,000 to illegally change their nationality from Iranian to Filipino after their UAE residency was rejected, a court heard on Monday.

A 40-year-old Iranian engineer, arrived to Dubai this year on visit visa and applied for residency but it was rejected on security grounds.

The defendant met a Syrian woman and an Egyptian man, who introduced him to a 36-year-old Emirati public relations officer, who agreed to help the Iranian get a residency visa for Dh85,000.

According to Dubai Public Prosecution, the Emirati defendant forged electronic documents in the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs’ system to change the nationality of the victim from Iranian to Filipino in order to obtain residency.

An Emirati police officer said the Iranian man managed to get a residency visa, despite being earlier denied. He said the defendant arrived at Dubai Airport in May of last year and after two months obtained residency under the name of an investment company in Dubai.

“The application carried his name, but his nationality was down as Filipino to get approved,” said the police officer. “He applied to change his status from a visit visa on an Iranian passport to a work permit with Filipino citizenship by attaching a copy of a fake Filipino passport,” the officer added.

Dubai Police arrested the Emirati and Iranian after an intensive investigation.

The Iranian confessed that he paid Dh85,000 to the Syrian woman and the Egyptian man and that he doesn’t know how they issued the work permit for him.

He claimed that the Emirati defendant escorted him for a medical test and to other government departments in order to get the permit.

Another Iranian defendant paid Dh75,000 to get the residency permit through the same procedure but court records didn’t disclose further details.

The Emirati defendant was charged with forging electronic documents and using it while the Syrian woman, the Egyptian man and the two Iranian defendants were charged with criminal abetting, according to Dubai Court of First Instance.

The trial has been adjourned until September 16.