Money from heaven puts con-men in Dubai jail

Glendale police released a statement reiterating that their extensive search for the body involved more than 300 officers over three months. (Reuters)

Three Sudanese who attempted to con an Omani by claiming ability of bring him money from heavens with the help of spirits and knowledge of horoscopes received three years in jail each.

The Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance also ordered each of the convicts to pay Dh10,000 fine and to be deported after serving their jail terms.

The plot

Three Sudanese along with an accomplice allegedly attempted to con an Omani by claiming ability to bring him money from the heavens with the help of spirits and knowledge of horoscopes, the Dubai Criminal Court heard.

When the 42-year-old Omani, HA, did not fall for the bait, they changed their trick and asked him for $75,000 that they said they needed to buy a chemical for cleaning US dollar notes that carried a black stamp of the United Nations. Three months before Ramadan, HA, unemployed, received phone calls from a Sudanese who claimed to be a ‘sheikh’ or ‘mulla’ and his name to be Abdullah.

“He told me that he had specialised in astronomy and that he can help make me a lot of money. He claimed that matching my name with astronomy he knew that I am very fortunate and that he can double money and can bring currency notes down from the heavens with the help of spirits and that he needed money to buy holy water and incense and other materials need for his operations,” the Omani told investigators.

Although the Omani did not show any interest, the Sudanese ‘sheikh’ continued calling him on different occasions and the two finally decided to meet in Al Ain.

“He repeated what he had told me over the phone and asked me for Dh7,000 to buy the materials. I refused to give him any money and so he left,” the Omani said.

Relentless ‘sheikh’ Abdullah called the Omani after 20 days and sought a meeting with him.

“We met in Al Ain and this time ‘sheikh’ Abdullah brought with him a powder that is very similar to saffron which he claimed is used to bring down spirits. He claimed that he bought the material for Dh3,500 and asked me to buy it from him. When he became sure that I will not give him any money, he left the place,” he said.

Early in Ramadan, ‘sheikh’ Abdullah called the Omani and told him that he is leaving the UAE and gave him the phone number of someone called Abu Abdullah.

Abu Abdullah called the Omani on the same day, introduced himself  and claimed ability to double money, depending on the spirits.

“I met him on the same day in the parking lot of Dubai Hospital in Al Baraha. He sat in my car and told me about his knowledge of horoscopes and asked me to give him my full name to find out if I am fortunate or not and told me that he will let me know later,” HA said.

On his way back to Al Ain, the Omani called Dubai Police and informed them about the swindlers.

Police asked the Omani to carry on with Abu Abdullah to help arrest him red handed.

On the following day, Abu Abdullah called the Omani and asked him for money that he said he needed to buy materials to help him know his horoscope. The Omani refused to pay him the amount.

After some days, the so-called Abu Abdullah called the Omani and told him that he has reduced the amount to $75,000, claiming that two people had brought large amount of dollars from the United States and that these notes carried a black stamp of the United Nations. He said that he needed US$75,000 to buy chemicals to remove the black stamp from the currency notes.

The Omani met Abu Abdullah who was accompanied by two other Sudanese, ‘owners’ of the US dollar notes, in the parking lot of Dubai Hospital. Abu Abudullah sat on the front seat while his companions sat on the back seats of the Omani’s car. The Omani had already informed the police whose officers were keeping the car under surveillance.

In his car, the three Sudanese demonstrated cleaning two $100 notes of the black stamp by spraying a liquid on them.

They told the Omani that the $75,000 is to buy the material that they can find it in Dubai’s market or overseas. They needed a large quantity of the material as they had a large number of dollar notes.

The Omani promised to think about the matter. Then he told them that he needed to be sure of them having the notes. The Sudanese agreed to the Omani’s request.

On August 7, Abu Abdullah met the Omani in the parking lot of Dubai Hospital and sat in his car for two hours before the other two Sudanese came. They went with the Omani to residential areas that he did not know.

At a house, one of the Sudanese got out of the car and brought a big box and put it in the trunk of the Omani’s car.

When he closed the trunk, policemen raided the place and arrested MI, 44, and AA, 41, both visitors, and MM, 35, businessman.

The three resisted their arrest and attempted to flee.

Police confiscated $465,300 that proved to be forged.

The three are accused of possessing forged currency notes and attempting to con the Omani of $75,000.

Print Email