Sales agent acquitted of stealing Dh50m valuables in Dubai

The defendant was accused of stealing valuables, changing their features and selling them

Dubai: A sales agent, accused by his employer of stealing Dh 50 million worth of valuables, has been acquitted of the embezzlement charges by the Expertise and Disputes Settlement Department of the Dubai Ruler’s Court.

A precious metals company accused the employee of removing the items from the company’s store and selling them, after teaming up with a laboratory owner to change some of their characteristics, to conceal the goods’ quality or source.

The accused pleaded not guilty and the case was forwarded to the Expertise and Disputes Settlement Department of the Dubai Ruler’s Court, to look into it.

Throughout the lawsuit, the accused insisted on his innocence, saying that the company fabricated the complaint in order to claim the insurance value of the goods, said Hashim Salem Al Qaiwani, Director of the Expertise and Disputes Settlement Department.

The department, while investigating the defendant‘s claims, scrutinised the insurance policy of the allegedly stolen goods. It found that the insurance coverage includes compensating the insured (claimant company) against losses incurred due to fraud, embezzlement, theft, fraudulent transfers and the like, if committed by the company’s employees alone or in conspiracy with others. It also turned out that the indemnity value on the goods was very high.

The quantity of the precious goods claimed stolen was quite huge, and difficult to take out and sell in such a short period of time, which further fuelled doubt against the company.

The company alleged that it discovered the theft while performing an inventory check in the store, revealing a deficit in stock custody.

The company also claimed to identify the stolen goods’ quantity by estimating the deficit value and provided the stock-taking report as evidence for its claims. It also claimed that the store’s surveillance cameras recorded the accused taking out goods from the store in several lots and handing them over to a person claiming to be a customer, who was transferring the goods to a laboratory to change some of its features or obliterating details of origin, in order to sell them.

Al Qaiwani further noted that the claimant company did weekly stock-taking at all its stores across the UAE and that the inventory checking report is issued immediately after the stock-taking.

But, the Department noticed that the case file did not contain the original stock-taking report on the basis of which it filed the case. So, the company was asked to send the original report, which it claimed had been scrapped. Its past weekly stock-taking reports – all of which indicated that there were deficits which weren’t accounted for – were also requested.

On checking the company’s audited financial statements, and calculating the accumulated deficits, the department concluded that the deficit balance the company was accusing the agent of is no more than an accumulated deficit resulting from previous deficits.

The deficit hadn’t occurred only in the store where the sales agent worked but at all of the company’s other stores as well.

The agent was cleared of the charges, based on these conclusions.

­­­­— Compiled by Tawfeeq Naserallah, Translator

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