A former Ministry of Economy employee received 3 years in jail for embezzling valuables worth Dh2.9 million from a jeweller using forged papers.

The 37-year-old Emirati man, YY, forged several papers from the ministry and showed them to the Canadian jeweller claiming that the valuables were needed as gifts to the ministry’s guests in 2013.

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The convict returned some of the gifts and the remaining value of unreturned items ran in millions.

The Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance also found, YY, guilty of forging documents for committing the fraud.

YY and his Syrian accomplice, JA, 35, convinced the Canadian owner that the ministry was looking to buy Dh5m worth of valuables.

The Syrian manager is acquitted from the same charges.

According to the records, the owner of the jewellery shop ZM, 51-year-old, met the YY and JA, through his brother who is also his partner.

In February 2013, the two told the owner that the ministry allocates about Dh20m a year just for buying presents and YA gave him a purchase order and three other documents related to the purchase and both men agreed that the payment would be made four months later.

“The two picked gifts and jewellery worth Dh4,890,632 and I issued them a bill. After three days, YY submitted local purchase order and another documents of the value of the gifts that carried the logo of the ministry and so I handed him the purchased stuff and he signed on a receipt against a postdated cheque. When the cheque became due after four months, YY visited me and returned some of the gifts claiming that the minister did not like them,” said the jewellery shop owner.

As he suspected the whole deal, he contacted the ministry’s undersecretary in writing about the deal.

The ministry’s undersecretary ordered YY to solve the issue amicably and to return the value of the unreturned gifts amounting to Dh2.9 million.

“We agreed that YY should give me his house in Abu Dhabi in return of the remaining value of the gift and he agreed. As he failed to transfer the ownership of the house in my name, he issued me a cheque due on August 20, 2013. However, the cheque bounced,” said the victim.

In August, 2014, the victim lodged a complaint regarding the bounced cheque and another complaint about the embezzlement.

The jeweler brother and partner AM, and a salesman in the shop repeated corroborative testimonies.

The Prosecution noted that the Syrian manager, JA, admitted that he had arranged the meeting between the victim and the so-called ministry employee.

He also admitted that he took the ministry’s documents from the victim and handed them back to YY.

However, in the court the Syrian manager denied the accusation of helping and abetting YY.

He said that he had only introduced YY to the jeweler and that he was not with him in the shop.