The Fujairah Criminal Court has ordered an young Arab man to pay a fine of Dh5,000 for misleading an Arab woman and siphoning off up to Dh150,000 from her.
As per court records, the defendant allegedly promised to marry the victim and pretended to have bought her an apartment, but he escaped with her money, and never replied again to her calls.
The woman approached the Fujairah Police which managed to track down the suspect and arrest him, but he denied conning the complainant.
“She asked me to buy her an apartment after she saw a commercial online, and asked me to help her get the phone number of the advertiser.”
He added that he had known the woman for two months since having met her on social media. “I went to the headquarter of the advertising company where the one in charge told me the apartment stood at Dh370,000, including Dh150,000 deposit.”
The defendant conveyed this to the woman, and they both went to the bank where she withdrew the money from her bank account. The man then handed over the money to the company representative, he claimed.
“She later changed her mind and said she did not want to make any investment in that apartment,” he said, noting that she asked him to return her the money. “I was then arrested while coming back from Oman.”
The woman told the court that she handed over the money – Dh150,000 – to the defendant. “I neither know the claimed company representative nor have met him.”
The defence lawyer told the court that “there is no single evidence of cheating”, he said, adding that the woman affirmed that she knew his client for two months online.
“My client offered her (the woman) to share him in the property investment with hopeful monthly profits.”
He did request Dh150,000 from her to be added to Dh300,000 from his own pocket to make a good investment. “They were planning to get engaged after the success of this potential investment.”
The defence lawyer said the public prosecution referred his client to the court without carrying out full investigation to verify the charges, and “baseless and unsupported” claims of the complainant.
“She was the one who asked my client to contact the company representative to deposit the money, and that the representative refused to give it back.”
However, the court, based on the defendant’s confession that he did take the Dh150,000 from the complainant, slapped him with a fine of Dh5,000.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, the defendant is to challenge the verdict at the higher court.