Suspects allegedly forged documents to evade customs fees
Five men have been accused of involvement in a case of smuggling 250,000 packs of cigarettes worth Dh500,000 into the local market to evade customs fees.
A Sri Lankan businessman, M.M., and a Pakistani driver, A.K., were said to have offered Dh4,000 in bribe to an Indian security guard, C.E., to allow them to drive truck carrying the consignment from Jebel Ali Port into the local market.
Prosecutors charged M.M. and A.K. with bribing a public servant [C.E.] and evading customs fees by smuggling the 500 cartons of cigarettes into the local market [without paying Dh500,000, the required custom fees] in an illegal manner in 2010.
They were accused of forging [an official document] a special permit allowing them to take the cigarette consignment out from Jebel Ali Port into Dubai without having paid the customs fees.
C.E. was charged with accepting the bribe and allowing A.K. to drive the truck outside the port.
An Indian businessman, S.V., A.K. and C.E. were charged with aiding and abetting M.M. in forging the Dubai Customs document that allowed the cigarettes to be transported into Dubai and evade taxes.
Prosecutors also charged an Indian businessman, R.N., with forging the stamp of a shipping company [the cigarettes’ original owner] on a document that was submitted to Dubai Customs. The forged document read that the ownership of the cigarettes had been transferred to another company so M.M. and A.K. could take the consignment outside the port.
The defendants, except M.M., entered a not guilty plea before the Dubai Court of First Instance.
M.M. failed to show up in courtroom three on Sunday.
An Indian partner [in the shipping company] testified to prosecutors that he received an email from Dubai Customs informing him that their company’s transaction had been concluded.
“When I visited the Customs, I discovered that there were six transactions in our company’s name. Some of those documents bore forged stamps and signatures. I informed the customs employee that the documents pertaining to those products [cigarettes and liquor] were not for us. I told the official that our company would suffer damages as we would be asked to pay customary fees for products that we did not import,” claimed the partner.
Law enforcement officers’ interrogations revealed the involvement of the five suspects in the case, according to records.
The trial continues.
© Al Nisr Publishing LLC 2015. All rights reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).