Dubai boss charged with bribing Nakheel exec in police sting operation

Iranian businessman allegedly offered bribes to try and clear $1m in fines owed to the state-owned developer
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By Beatrice Thomas
Mon 09 Dec 2013 10:24 AM

A businessman has been accused of offering a AED500,000 ($136,132) bribe to a Nakheel executive to cancel AED3.7m ($1m) in fines imposed by the Dubai developer against his company, a court heard.

The 32-year-old Iranian national is said to have accumulated the fines over deals on three plots of land in the Jumeirah Village Project, local media reported.

It was part of a reported AED11.5m ($3.13m) in late payments being demanded by Nakheel to various investors.

Prosecutors allege that after requesting a meeting with a Nakheel executive to discuss the matter, the defendant offered to pay him AED200,000 ($54,453) to cancel the fines.

However, the Dubai Court of First Instance heard that Nakheel informed authorities and then pretended to accept the bribe - bargaining with him to increase the offer to AED500,000 ($136,132) -  in what became a police sting operation.

The defendant, who has pleaded not guilty, was arrested when he allegedly handed over AED400,000 ($108,906) in a bag in a hotel lobby on June 10.

The court has been provided with voice recordings to be used as evidence to back up the charge of bribing a public employee during the trial.

The defendant has denied offering money during the meeting with the Nakheel executive.

The case was adjourned to December 18.

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