Legal consultant blackmails employer to pay him Dh1.75m

Suspect threatens co-worker by email and SMS, asks for money not to report alleged briberies to police

Dubai: A legal consultant has been accused of threatening and blackmailing his co-worker to pay him Dh1.75 million in gratuity and compensation following a dispute with his employer.

The French legal consultant was said to have called his colleagues at the legal department of an energy company and its management for an urgent meeting in April to discuss corruption and kickback allegations at their workplace.

During the meeting, the Frenchman alleged that some staff had been involved in paying bribes to win tenders, according to records. When the management asked him to corroborate his allegations with proof, he got outraged.

The angered Frenchman was believed to have wrecked his laptop during that meeting, before the management called it off.

The company’s management thereafter reported the police that the legal consultant had destroyed its properties.

When asked by the management to examine the Frenchman’s work emails, the information technology department discovered that he had emailed confidential tenders and contracts to his personal email.

A day later it was said that a Greek legal consultant, who worked for the company’s legal department, received emails and SMSes in which he was asked by the Frenchman to pay him Dh1.2 million in compensation and his Dh550,000 gratuity otherwise he would provide documents to police exposing the bribery and corruption allegations.

The company reported the matter to the police that summoned the French legal consultant for questioning.

Prosecutors accused the French suspect of blackmailing, extorting and threatening his Greek co-worker. He was also accused of abusing his authority and emailing himself confidential papers.

The suspect failed to appear before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Thursday where he was scheduled to enter his plea.

Meanwhile, the company’s lawyer asked presiding Judge Habib Awad to adjourn the case until he pays the court fees of the civil lawsuit.

The Greek consultant testified to prosecutors that the suspect threatened him via email and SMSes.

“After the meeting, the suspect sent me emails and SMSes in which he threatened to inform the company’s clients about the alleged kickbacks and fraud if the company didn’t pay him money, waive complaint and return his passport. Later, we also discovered that he had communicated with some of the company’s clients via emails, in which he alleged that the company had won several tenders and signed contracts in fraudulent and deceptive methods,” he told prosecutors.

The Frenchman was cited as claiming to prosecutors that he threatened the company by email that he would report their fraudulent methods to the authorities if they didn’t pay him money.

The trial continues.

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