DUBAI 18 April 2017: A fake property owner conned a real estate company which, in turn, conned a tenant of Dh121,000, the Dubai Criminal Court heard.
The fake owner, SB, 33, jobless Emirati with the help of a fugitive, allegedly placed an advertisement on a website about a vacant flat in Dubai Marina and mentioned a mobile number of a man who claimed to be a Yemani called Yamen.
A real estate company spotted the advertisement and contacted Yamen, who claimed to be the owner’s representative.
The real estate company agreed with the owner to promote the flat on another website against commission.
Strangely, when a woman, who was looking for a flat, contacted Yamen whose mobile number was on the advertisement, the latter referred her to the real estate company.
“Adam, from the real estate company managing the property, called me and we agreed to meet him for viewing the flat,” testified the victim DA, Jordanian manager.
After viewing the flat in the presence of Adam, the victim agreed on leasing the flat from August 1, 2016 to July 31, 2017 for Dh110,000,+ Dh5,500 deposit and Dh5,500 company commission.
Adam supplied the victim via email photocopies of the property ownership certificate issued by Dubai Land Department, and photocopies of the landlord’s ID and passport.
Later Adam visited the victim in her office where she handed him two cheques – one of Dh50,000 value and dated July 20, 2017 and the other of Dh60,000 value and dated August 31, 2016. The victim also paid him in cash a total of Dh11,000 for the deposit and the commission.
“However, Adam failed to give the woman the flat’s key with the excuse of some repair works that would finish in a couple of days. The Dh50,000 of the first cheque were cashed on the same day,” she testified.
During a visit to Dubai Electricity and Water Department (Dewa) to finish leasing formalities, the victim was shocked when she found out that the owner was not whose name was mentioned on the ownership letter. The flat was owned by two other men, she testified.
“Immediately, I contacted the real estate company and informed them about the fraud. They asked for some time to check the matter. After sometime, they assured me they were conned as the ownership letter was forged. The company refrained from refunding my money claiming that they were conned too,” said the victim.
Adam B, 27, British, told investigators that as the company spotted the advertisement on a website and contacted the number. Adam gave the number they contacted to the police, but it was different from the number that the victim spotted on the advertisement.
“We called the number and a man called Ali answered and claimed that he is a representative of the owner and gave me the mobile number of the owner. I contacted the owner of the flat and offered him to promote his flat against commission and he agreed,” testified Adam.
The real estate company placed an advertisement on another website promoting the flat for rent.
However, sometime latter, Adam received a call from a man who claimed to be called Yamen and from a real estate company saying there was a prospective tenant for the flat and gave him her number.
“I agreed with Yamen to share the commission should the woman agree on leasing the flat,” Adam told investigators.
The woman viewed the flat and agreed on leasing it and so Adam contacted the owner of the flat, Ali, and informed him about that. Adam asked Ali to send him his documents.
“I later met Ali and he handed me over a photocopy of the flat’s ownership letter,” testified Adam.
Then, Adam, handed the documents to the victim and so she signed on the lease and issued two cheques.
Adam told police that the victim handed cash deposit, but denied remembering how she paid the deposit.
Then Adam met both Ali and the accused, whose real name is, SA, 33, jobless, Emirati, and not Yamen and handed them over the two cheques. He also deposited the deposit in a bank account they gave to him.
“SA signed on the lease and so I compared his name and signature and they matched those on the ID and the flat’s ownership letter,” testified Adam.
SA said he could not give the flat’s key as cleaning works were going on, said Adam.
“Two days later, I called SA to ask him for the key, but he did not answer my calls. At that time the tenant discovered the fraud when she approached Dewa,” testified Adam.
“After accusing me of conning her, the tenant then contacted the company’s manager and I do not know what happened,” added Adam.
SA admitted to forging the ownership letter of the flat.
However, records did not mention what was the relationship between the accused and the two real owners of the flat.
The court will give verdict on April 27.
By Lolyana Zaki