On March 9, according to Gulf News, the Dubai Court of First Instance sentenced a Dubai manager at an unnamed government entity to five years’ imprisonment, a fine of Dh1.85 million (US $503,587), and repayment of that amount “for taking more than Dh1 million [US$ 272,209] in bribes to facilitate unauthorised payments and procedures.”
The Court of First Instance reportedly stated that the unnamed defendant “sought a Dh1 million bribe from a contracting company in return for facilitating a payment of Dh50 million [US$13.6 million] on a project the company had won with a government entity,” and “accepted Dh856,000 [US$233,000] in bribes from three other companies in return for helping them be listed as service providers with the government entity, between November 9, 2017 and July 5, 2018.” Records showed that Emirati police received information about the manager’s bribe-taking, and authorities arrested him “after setting a trap for him.”
In addition to the manager, four other unnamed defendants, all Indian nationals, were convicted and sentenced in the case. One of those defendants, who “was convicted of mediating between the Emirati defendant and the bribing companies,” was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, a Dh100,000 (US$27,220), and deportation. The three other defendants, “who worked at the companies which paid the bribes,” were convicted of offering bribes and were each sentenced to three years’ imprisonment and deportation. In addition, each of those three defendants were fined and ordered to repay the same amount as their respective fines to the government entity: one was fined Dh250,000 (US$68,052), a second Dh100,000 (US$27,220), and the third Dh500,000 (US$136,105).
Note: These prosecutions are the latest in a series of criminal sentences since November 2019 that Dubai courts have imposed on managerial-level staff (both Emirati and foreign nationals) for bribery and other corruption-related conduct. While reports of aggregate prosecution statistics are always instructive, reports about specific criminal prosecutions, particularly for financial crimes such as bribery and corruption, are even more useful in demonstrating the capacity and willingness of prosecutors to pursue complex criminal cases and of courts to impose appropriate sentences for such cases.