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25 February 2024

Ex-Nakheel manager cleared of graft, but jailed

By Staff

Three former Nakheel officials and two other executives were acquitted of committing financial irregularities by the Dubai Court of First Instance but a former marketing manager, an Emirati, was sentenced to three months in jail along with an Indian former employee on charges of forgery.

Nakheel’s ex-executives, a merchant and a deputy manager were acquitted yesterday of different financial irregularity charges and incurring a Dh630,000 loss in public funds, according to media reports this morning.

Citing lack of corroborated evidence and unfounded accusations, the court acquitted Emirati A.J., Nakheel’s former senior marketing manager, of charges of seeking Dh250,000 in bribes from his countryman merchant, A.K., and a Lebanese deputy manager, A.M., against winning a trading bid of an exclusive brand of pens from A.K.’s trading company.

According to a report in Gulf News, presiding Judge Hamad Abdul Latif Abdul Jawad also cleared A.J. of unlawfully gaining and dispersing public funds by causing Nakheel a Dh630,000 loss. A Pakistani administrator, O.M., was also acquitted of forging documents and using them for the purpose of sealing the deal.

However, A.J. and R.S. were jailed for three months for forging Nakheel documents. A report in Khaleej Times said that, according to the prosecution records, the former marketing manager diverted more than Dh930,000, misusing his position and damaging Nakheel’s financial interests between April and October 2008. According to the arraignment sheet, A.J. was accused of making a personal profit which resulted in a loss of more than Dh630,000 to Nakheel.

“We were tipped off that there was embezzlement going by employees in that section,” the auditor reportedly testified in court.

“There was a payment order sent to the Accounting Department regarding the purchase of a collection of pens. No merchandise receipt notification was enclosed, however,” the auditor was quoted as saying during the court session.

“There was neither any tender of prices, which was not in line with the usual procedures,” he noted.

Khaleej Times reports that, according to the auditor’s statement, the merchandise of pens was never delivered. In addition, a fictitious price, which was far less than the real price of the pens, was listed on the invoices.

By checking the laptop of the woman defendant, then a marketing administrative official, the auditors found two forged letters attributed to Nakheel, drafted supposedly on dates to cover up the suspicious pen deal.