A passport control officer in Dubai accepted bribes to alter exit report records, making it look like nearly 5,300 people left the country between August 2007 and August 2012 when they actually went no where.
The unnamed defendant worked for Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs (GDRFA) and was found guilty in criminal court on Wednesday.
The defendant was sentenced to two years in prison and fined Dh2.65 million ($721,000) by presiding judge Maher Salama Al Mahdi, according to the Gulf News.
An informant alerted the GDRFA that the defendant was using a computer at his work station to enter details regarding the payment of phantom passenger-departure fees.
When investigators checked on the supposedly departing travellers, all Asians, they discovered that the passengers had never left the country.
The officer admitted to prosecutors that he would receive via text message lists of people whose exit status he should falsify from a source in Pakistan. A different man would pay him the bribe money at a drop-off point.
The Gulf News said the accused was believed to have collected Dh500 ($136) for each no-show passenger.
Julie DiMauro is the executive editor of FCPA Blog and can be reached here.