Coun­try­men sent to court for rental fraud


DUBAI: Two Asian men who conned a ten­ant out of Dhs35,000 af­ter rent­ing him some­one else’s apart­ment were re­ferred to the Dubai Crim­i­nal Court, prose­cu­tors said on Satur­day.

The Dubai Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tion sued them for us­ing fraud­u­lent means to ob­tain the cash, fal­si­fy­ing an un­o­fi­cial doc­u­ment, us­ing ofi­cial doc­u­ments be­long­ing to an­other per­son and beneit­ing from them un­law­fully.

The vic­tim said he was brows­ing an in­ter­net site when he saw an an­nounce­ment about an apart­ment for rent at a new build­ing in a res­i­den­tial area in Dubai. He con­tacted the num­ber listed in the ad­ver­tise­ment.

The irst sus­pect replied and claimed he worked for a real es­tate ofice at the same build­ing and was re­spon­si­ble for rent­ing its lats. He sum­moned the vic­tim to the build­ing and pre­sented him a num­ber of apart­ments.

He agreed to rent an apart­ment worth Dhs70,000 to the vic­tim and asked him for a Dhs35,000 down pay­ment. The irst sus­pect later showed up with the sec­ond sus­pect and had a meet­ing with the vic­tim.

The sec­ond sus­pect claimed he was the owner of the apart­ment and sub­mit­ted papers to prove his al­leged own­er­ship of it. They con­cluded and signed the con­tract. The vic­tim made the Dhs35,000 down pay­ment.

They handed him the apart­ment key along with a re­ceipt show­ing the amount he paid and the build­ing’s park­ing en­try card. He later ar­rived with his wife to the build­ing. To his sur­prise, the park­ing card was not work­ing.

He went to the apart­ment and tried us­ing the key but it failed to open the door. He re­alised he had fallen vic­tim to a scam. He tried to con­tact the duo. Their phones were switched off. He pro­ceeded to in­form the po­lice.

Ac­cord­ing to in­ves­ti­ga­tions con­ducted by Khalid Has­san Al Mutawa, a se­nior pros­e­cu­tor at the Deira Pros­e­cu­tion, the duo had com­mit­ted a spate of sim­i­lar scams and sev­eral com­plaints were iled against them.

They ad­mit­ted dur­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions that they cheated the vic­tim out of his money by fal­si­fy­ing a prop­erty cer­ti­icate for apart­ments be­long­ing to other peo­ple and pre­sent­ing them for rent. They re­ceived and shared pro­ceeds.

The head of the Deira Pros­e­cu­tion, Coun­sel­lor Fahd Ab­dul-aziz Al Zarouni, stressed the im­por­tance of deal­ing with li­censed real es­tate agents, ver­i­fy­ing the cred­i­bil­ity doc­u­ments and iden­tity of agents, and seek­ing help from se­cu­rity au­thor­i­ties in case of sus­pected fraud.

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