School staff jailed for embezzlement

Two senior employees of a driving institute were sentenced to three months in jail each for embezzling Dh176,000 from their employer.

MM, 42, Egyptian manager who is at large, and manager of the technical section IK, 35, Palestinian, sold 36 cars for a total of Dh522,000 but deposited Dh346,000 only in the institute’s bank account, pocketing the difference of Dh176,000.

The theft was discovered by the owner of the driving school when he suspected e-mails between the buyer, MS, 55, Sudanese second hand car dealer and the institute’s financial manager, MM, 42, and technical section manager IK, 35, both are Palestinians. The e-mails were related to receipts of car transfer.

The two employees decided to phase 36 cars out of service. They contacted  second hand car dealer MS although they had never awarded him contract for buying phased out cars earlier, claiming that his bids were lower than market rates.

“I wondered why they contacted me although they had never awarded me any deal claiming that my prices were lower than that of the market. I learnt from them that they want to phase 36 cars out of service. I offered them Dh10,000 per car but they did not agree. However, they told me when they told me that they will later phase out 11 buses. After checking the buses, I offered Dh65,000 per bus and they agreed. The market price of the bus was Dh90,000.

“Although it was a verbal agreement regarding the buses, I brought the price of the cars up to Dh14,500 per car,” the car dealer told investigators.

The two employees of the driving institute insisted that the car deal will be processes in batches and that the payment per batch should be in cash.

After completing the transfer of the 36 cars and the cash payments, the dealers started asking about the 11 buses. The two employees then started procrastinating the deal.

“One day, I spotted five of the eleven buses in a garage. The garage official told me that they had purchased the buses and told about the name of the same driving institute. I enquired about our deal with the two employees without confronting them with what I learnt. The two assured me that they will sell to me the 11 buses,” he said.

The dealer then told the employee that he had spotted 5 buses in a garage. The latter denied selling any buses. However, when the dealer asked him to accompany him to the garage, the employee admitted to selling the five buses.

To regain the dealer’s trust, he told him that the remaining six buses will be sold to him in addition to other cars.

“I was forced to agree on that because if I did not, I would not make any profit on the 36 car deal,” he said.

The employees did not keep their word with the dealer, as they sold the remaining six buses to the same garage.

“I was shocked when I learnt from the same garage that they had bought other six buses from the driving institute. I realised that I was swindled by the two employees. They tempted me to buy the cars for a price higher than the market prices and now they have already sold the buses,” he said.

The two employees started trying to calm the dealer’s by calling him but the latter refrained from taking their calls and instead he communicated with them via emails.

In these emails, the dealer insisted that the two issue him invoices for the 36 cars that he needed them for accounting purposes although the cars are now owned by his company.

As the two procrastinating for some times, the dealer approached the institute and met the two who at the end issued him the invoices.

The owner of the institute spotted the emails and checking the problem, he found out that the two had sold 36 cars to the dealer for Dh14,500 per car but had deposited only Dh9500 per car.

Investigations proved that the invoices issued to the dealer were forged.

The owner of the driving institute insisted found out that the financial manager has broken the rules related selling cars as it should have been done via closed envelope bidding.  The manager, also singed on car ownership transfer without being authorized to do that in addition to forging invoices that he issued to the dealer, the owner of the institute, AN, 57, Emirati told investigators.

The institute’s accountant made corroborative testimonies.

During investigations, the financial manager fled the country by claiming taking annual leave.

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