Would be scammer jailed, fined Dhs200,000 - GulfToday

Would be scammer jailed, fined Dhs200,000


Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Hamza M Sengendo, Staff Reporter

A fraudster who dashed out of a hotel after preparations to con someone went awry was on Thursday imprisoned for nine months and slapped with a Dhs200,000 fine.

The African defendant – a visitor, 36 – with the help of an unidentified man duplicated an Abu Dhabi airport entry stamp that they used to forge a passport falsely identifying the defendant as a South African national.

The defendant presented the bogus passport at the reception of a hotel in Bur Dubai to book a hotel room – with the aim of stashing counterfeit bills and tools pertaining to money-doubling activities, records read. He had smuggled fourteen bundles of dollars in $100 denominations into the UAE. The Dubai Criminal Court caged him for six months for his role in duplicating the airport stamp, forging the passport and using them.

It sentenced him to three months in prison plus a Dhs200,000 fine for bringing and possessing fake dollars. It ordered the seized items be confiscated and the defendant be deported after serving the punishment. On the record, the hotel’s Indian security manager narrated that he was in the surveillance camera control room when a female receptionist contacted telling him an African man wanted to book a room for one day.

“She told me she examined his passport and saw discrepancies between his supposed personal photo and his facial features.” The manager confronted him. He kept dodging questions and at times giving false excuses.

“He told me that he was skinny before and had no beard. He insisted he was the one in the passport and that he just gained weight and grew a beard. The receptionist finalised procedures and handed him a key.” The manager remained suspicious and monitored the defendant’s movements using surveillance cameras. Shortly, he spotted another African man at the lift. The defendant went to the man and went with him upstairs.

One of them was dragging a bag. They entered the room. Minutes later, they walked out together. The manager intercepted them the moment they stepped out of the lift and asked the defendant to show his ID.

“He told me he had no ID. And that he booked the room in his friend’s name. I asked him where the friend was. He told me he was absent. I asked him for the key. I was contacting the police when both ran away.”

An Emirati policeman said the bag contained 35 bundles of dollars, 25 bundles of black, yellow and grey papers, yellow and white powder, the defendant’s original passport and the bogus one used to book the room.

Police confirmed there was one in the UAE with names mentioned in the bogus passport.

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