PRO jailed for offering Dh100 bribe to immigration officer

Defendant fined Dh5,000 for bribing officer to abuse his job and renew two residence visas

Dubai: A public relations officer (PRO) has been jailed for three months for trying to bribe an immigration officer Dh100 for renewing two residence visas illegally.

An immigration officer was at his duty station at the Dubai International Airport’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) client services counter, when the Indian PRO, 39, showed up in July 2018.

Being the officer’s frequent client, the Indian asked for the immigration officer’s mobile number, to make future enquiries about residency renewals.

An hour later, the Indian defendant called up the officer and offered to pay him Dh50 for each instant transaction, to put the residency stamp on passports without any delay or background check.

After discussing the issue with his superiors, the immigration officer was tasked to pretend agreeing to take the PRO’s bribe. The police then apprehended the PRO in a sting operation, catching him red handed offering the bribe.

The Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the defendant of offering a Dh100 bribe to an immigration officer to abuse his job and stamp two residence visas illegally.

According to the primary sentence, the accused will pay a Dh5,000.

The accused, who pleaded not guilty, will be deported after his jail term. “I did not pay him a bribe. I went to the counter and paid for the VIP service of renewing the residency visas. Those fees (Dh100) were to issue the residency quickly and not a bribe,” the defendant argued in court.

The GDRFA officer testified that the accused visited him at the client service counter and asked for his number. “I provided my contact details and then he left. He called me an hour later and offered to pay me Dh50 per transaction and asked me not to deposit the usual fees with the cashier. There are clear and strict instructions that the collected fees must be deposited instantly with the cashier. After notifying my supervisor, I was asked to pretend agreeing to the bribe offer by the suspect, who was apprehended in a sting operation,” the officer said.

The ruling remains subject to appeal.

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