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04 October 2023

Sacked clerk uses law firm's letterhead to swindle Dh65,000 from pharmacist

By Eman Al Baik

An unemployed Palestinian allegedly conned a pharmacist whose two sons had been sentenced to four years in jail for taking drugs and claimed he could arrange a pardon for them in return for Dh65,000.

MM, 38, claimed that he worked for a law firm and forged documents to support his claim. He also claimed to know officials in the Ruler’s Court who could help arrange a pardon for the pharmacist’s two sons.

The pharmacist’s two sons were sentenced to four years in jail last July. A prisoner gave them MM’s contact phone and told them that he could arrange a pardon from the Ruler’s Court.

The father of the convicted sons contacted MM in August and arranged to meet him at the Dubai Prosecutor’s office where the two signed a deal that carried the law firm’s office letterhead for getting the pardon against Dh65,000 that MM asked.

MM presented his visiting card of a law firm and made the victim sign the deal of which he handed him a photocopy . The victim gave him a cheque of Dh25,000 as advance payment.

After a couple of days, MM sent an email to the victim with a letter that he claimed had been sent to the Ruler’s Court asking for pardoning the two sons. Later, he emailed him a letter from the Ruler’s Court regarding the pardon after collecting the Dh25,000 cheque. The accused informed the victim that the pardon is not final and that some more procedures need to be completed at the public prosecutor’s office.

“A couple of days later, I called MM several times but he did not reply so I called at the advocate’s office number and one of the employee there told me that MM did not work for the law firm and that he is a swindler who has conned a number of people,” said the victim who then lodged a complaint with the police.

Police investigated the complaint and found out that MM had been sacked from the law firm days before the incident and that the business had taken over by another firm.

Police arrested the accused in his house and confiscated about $20,000 and Dh5,000 in addition to a large number of documents that carried the letterhead of his previous employer, which he used to deceive people.

Police also confiscated a letter that carried the Dubai Prosecution’s pardon and the contract that the victim had signed. The accused initially denied the charges but the victim recognised him when shown via identification parade.

The accused’s compatriot MF, 29, testified that MM who had been appointed in the advocate’s office in 2010 as a clerk had failed to submit any certificate in law that he claimed he had.

“Also, the employer found MM incapable of doing any job in the office so he was terminated,” MF testified.

The employer had also lodged an ‘absconding’ complaint against MM who failed to leave the country during the grace period after the cancellation of his visa.

The employer learnt that the accused had conned people after claiming that he worked for the company as a legal consultant, MF told investigators, denying signing on any deal with the victim and saying that the contact numbers on the contract belong to another law firm since 2011.

Criminal Evidences reported that the documents submitted by the accused to the victim were forged.

The Court will give its verdict on February 17.