Ministry probes land fraud in Al Aweer scout camp

Investors allegedly used fake contracts

The Ministry of Education is investigating illegal use of its land in Al Aweer by three different investors under bogus contracts.

The property, which is used by the ministry as a scout camp, has been under the ministry’s ownership since 1996.

Apparently, various parts of the land are being under illegal use beginning 2003 and the ministry was notified about the suspect activities but strangely no action was taken, according to a 'Gulf News' report.

However, when the property’s water consumption bill for 2010 ran up to Dh400,000, the ministry decided to take action and ordered Dewa to cut off the supply, while simultaneously launching an investigation.

The ministry was further shocked when one of the investors had raised an urgent proceeding against the Ministry, asking that an expert inspect the place and document its state, and that he — the investor — had spent Dh6 million to bring the place to its current state.

Investigations have so far revealed that former ministry officials signed three contracts with different parties at different dates, allowing the parties to use the land including the facilities available at the property like water and electricity supply.

The first contract, which was signed on April 5, 2006, between the Ministry of Education, represented by its then Undersecretary of Activities Affairs, and Emirates Hobbies Association, represented by its head. However, a point to be noted here is that Emirates Hobbies Association had ceased to exist four months before the date of signing.

The second contract, signed on September 30, 2007, was called a cooperation agreement between a "concerned party" from the Ministry of Education — which was not indicated later in the contract — and a "National Service" represented by a Ministry of Education official then and until now.

The third contract was also signed in 2007 between the same ambiguous parties that are the signatories of the second deal and was to last for five years.

However, a ministry source revealed that the investor did not use any land under the third contract but only used its water and electricity supply for a property outside the land in question.

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