Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Hamza M Sengendo, Staff Reporter
Facebook fraudsters who duped a gullible man into paying $123,200 and travel from Iraq to the UAE to claim his ‘$27 million prize’ were incarcerated on Tuesday.
The African defendant, 41, flatmate, 50, and countryman, 44, conned the Iraqi victim out of $123,200 (Dhs452,500) worth clearance fees for the $27m (Dhs99,157,500) prize he allegedly won from a local Islamic bank.
They and their fugitive cohorts forged $2m (Dhs7,345,000) and Euro20,000 (Dhs82,300). They denied the charges in court. The Criminal Court jailed each one for one year plus deportation and a Dhs200,000 fine.
The victim was in Iraq at the beginning of February when a man (identified as P) on Facebook told him he won $27m from the bank. “He asked me for my passport copy to finalise procedures for wiring the prize to me.
“I paid him $21,000 for a lawyer who would follow-up. He later told me the bank wanted $42,000 to endorse the prize. I sent it to a man’s address. He told me to deposit $50,000 in the account of another.
“He summoned me to Dubai to claim the prize. I rented at a hotel in Deira. A man identified as F met me and asked me for $4,000 to transfer the prize from the bank to a security company that would deliver it to me.
“The next day he returned with another man identified as D (the countryman in disguise). They took me inside their car and showed me a box full of $100 bundles. Each bundle had a stamp reading in Arabic.
“F pulled out a bill and poured a liquid on it. He told me to go to a money shop and confirm the bill was authentic. He told me all the bills required a chemical to remove stamps. I paid him $6,200 for purchasing it.
“He and D went their way. The next day F contacted saying the money was not enough for the chemical. He asked for $160,000. I realised I had fallen victim to a scam.” The victim sought Dubai Police intervention.
Police organised a trap and apprehended the defendant after he arrived to collect the money. They then nabbed his flatmate, checked his mobile phone and landed on a video showing many suspicious dollar bills.
Dubai and Sharjah Police combed their flat in Sharjah and seized five suitcases containing fake dollars and euros. The defendant said he accepted to join the scam after the flatmate promised to find him a job.
Recently, a realty company official who forged documents to swindle Dhs501,553 electronic devices from a supplier lost the case at the Dubai Appeals Court.
Ten alleged serial scammers were hauled back into court on Tuesday for siphoning Dhs784,400 from an elderly Emirati trader’s bank account.
An African salesman was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment and was fined Dhs150,000, for forging an entry permit to scam a female visitor to pay him Dhs12,500.
A bank’s service agent forged a customer’s signature on a cheque, which he stole form his chequebook, and managed to withdraw Dhs1.2 million from the account concerned. The customer was reportedly completing a transaction at the suspect’s office when the latter surreptitiously stole a cheque from the former’s chequebook.
Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed on Thursday, honoured the winners of the eighth edition of the "Thank You” Award for employees of the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority, at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre.
European foreign ministers and UN agencies called for a ceasefire, with alarm rising over the worsening humanitarian crisis and potential starvation in the territory.
The weather on Sunday and Monday is expected to be partly cloudy to cloudy at times with a chance of drizzles to moderate and heavy rains at times on some areas, especially the northern, eastern and coastal ones, accompanied by a drop in temperature, especially in the west,..