Taking bribes and commission on property deals was not prohibited under UAE law, according to lawyers on Sunday who were defending seven former real estate executives charged with corruption.
Trial to Begin in Dubai’s Biggest SwindleThe trial in Dubai’s largest embezzlement case — in which seven people are charged with defrauding the Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) of Dh1.8 billion — finally begins in the Dubai Court of First Instance on March 30.
Five overseas businessmen and two employees of the bank have waited nearly a year for the charge of swindling DIB, through bribery and forgery, to be brought before the trial court by the Public Prosecution.
The DIB fraud case is part of the government crackdown on corruption and financial irregularities, which began in April last year, and has since resulted in highly publicised arrests of leading bankers and property officials.
Two of these cases went to court on Sunday with the trials of real estate officials from major developers.
Five executives from Sama Dubai and Damac Property Company are defending charges in the Criminal Court of First Instance of bribery and divulging professional secrets.
In the second case, two employees of Nakheel, the developers of the Palm islands, are standing trial for allegedly accepting bribes.
Both hearings are set to continue later this month.
The 36-year-old Turkish national alleged to have defrauded DIB with two British collaborators, however, is yet to be arrested.
The threesome presented fabricated documents for non-existent transactions of companies they had just started and taken loans.
Two former senior executives of DIB are charged with bribery, a 39-year-old Pakistani finance manager and his 50-year-old deputy, stand accused of accepting bribes to overlook the irregularity and disburse the loans.
Also at large is an American who is alleged to have taken a similar route — forging documents and bribing the employees — to embezzle DIB. He is said to have swindled more than Dh7 million. He, too, was given the loans.
A fifth British businessman, 58, has been charged with criminal complicity: he allegedly conspired with the first three defendants to cheat the bank.