Three years in jail for Dh85m fake gold deal

The Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance on Tuesday convicted an Iranian businessman for defrauding an Iranian bank of almost Dh85 million in a fake gold deal.

SH, 55, was sentenced to three years in jail, reported 'The National'.

Prosecutors said SH presented fraudulent documents from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, and forged inspection certificates and receipts from a Tehran-based inspection company, to receive Dh84.7m from Bank Saderat Iran's branch in Dubai, in November 2008.

He is accused of setting up fictitious companies in Iran that sought a loan to finance a purchase of gold.

Relying on the fake documents from SH, the bank's branch in Dubai gave a portion of the fake Iranian companies' payments to SH, only to learn later that the documents were forged, prosecutors said.

A Chamber of Commerce executive told prosecutors that the chamber issues certificates to companies based on receipts.

SH contacted the Dubai branch of the bank, claiming he was completing a gold deal with the three fake Iranian companies, supposedly in Tehran and Isfahan, prosecutors say.

According to a manager for the Dubai branch, the companies requested a gold purchase from SH's firm in Dubai worth Dh150m through the bank's branch in Khuramabad, Iran.

The Dubai bank manager testified that after a portion of the payment was processed in the emirate, the bank sent the documents to the Khuramabad branch to verify their authenticity and found the documents were fake.

The company providing the gold did not exist either, records show.

Last year, the Iranian government filed an extradition request at the UAE Ministry of Justice, asking for SH to be sent to Iran. A Dubai extradition court denied the request because SH's trial was ongoing.

He will be deported after completing his sentence.

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