Dubai: A woman has been accused of offering Dh10,000 in bribe to a customs inspector to help her bring into Dubai a container that did not have a customs declaration form.
The 33-year-old Chinese woman, J.C., was said to have communicated with the customs inspector at one of the Dubai Customs branches and offered him the bribe to help her release the container and bring it in to the market in October.
The Chinese suspect, who has been identified as a housewife as per prosecution records, pleaded innocent when she showed up before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Thursday.
“Did you offer the inspector Dh10,000 in bribe?” presiding judge Urfan Omar asked the suspect.
“Not at all,” replied J.C. in court.
According to the charge sheet, prosecutors said the defendant offered the inspector money to allow her to bring in the container that was seized at one of the seaports.
The inspector testified to prosecutors that the suspect had visited him at his desk a number of times when she finalised a number of customs’ transactions to bring in containers imported from China.
“She came to check on one of the containers imported from China without having a customs declaration form. The container was seized over suspicions that the person, who had imported the products, wanted to evade customs fees. The suspect claimed to me that the products were mistakenly loaded into the container. I informed her that the transaction had been referred to the cases’ section. She asked me for my contact number for follow up. Later she sent me a text message in which she asked me to help her and that if I did she would be appreciative. I informed my supervisors and as per the directives of the legal department I communicated with the defendant. She offered to pay me money to help her. After obtaining prosecutors’ permission, I met the woman in Deira. Law enforcement officers arrested her in a sting operation after she handed me the money in an envelope,” the inspector claimed to prosecutors.
The defendants’ lawyers asked the court to hear prosecution witnesses when it reconvenes on April 13.