Woman ‘Samson’ brings down Dh5 million ‘palace of bribes’

Reported bribes to police when she was not paid her share

DUBAI 25 July 2017: A woman property broker was ‘Samson’ in a prime bribery case when she reported herself – and a manager in an global government establishment – on a Dh5 million bribe, the Dubai Criminal Court heard.

54-year-old broker MF, fulfilled her threats and reported bribe crimes to the authorities after Emirati purchase manager, MS, 29, failed to pay her the agreed 50 per cent share of Dh4.35m bribe.

Managers of three companies involved in the bribes are also being prosecuted.

Construction company manger, SM, 49, Jordanian, which was awarded a major contract of Dh72.5 million value, is being prosecuted for offering the Emirati manager Dh4.35m through the broker.

Egyptian manager of another construction company, IA, 59, was awarded a villa contract of a VIP in Jumeirah Hills of Dh6.4 million value against Dh500,000 bribe he made to the Emirati through the broker.

The bribes were paid to the two women through a third company. A bogus consultancy contract was signed between the contractor companies and the consultancy company to camouflage the illegal source of the money. He did that against taking Dh100,000 per operation.

The manager of the consultancy company BA, 54, Lebanese, is being prosecuted for aiding and abetting the two women.

How It Started

MF, informed the authorities that at the end of 2011, she approached Emirati purchase manager in an international government establishment and asked her if the establishment has any project to be announced and that she could arrange contractors.

The Emirati manager told the broker about a villa project of a VIP that was to be soon announced for bidding after revealing the budget of the project which was Dh8m so she has to bring offers for less than the budget. The project was announced for bidding on February 8, 2011.

The broker brought bids from three companies one of which was excluded by the senior of the Emirati manager.

Later, the three companies were registered in the establishment’s contractors list.

The Emirati manager asked the broker to ask one of the two companies to pay Dh500,000 bribe to be awarded the contract. The two women agreed to split the bribe 50/50.

As the first company refused to pay the bribe, so the request was made to the other company.

The Egyptian manager of the company IA accepted to pay the bribe but only after receiving the first payment of the Dh6.4m project.

The broker received the Dh500,000 bribe against cheques of the manager’s account or in cash.

The broker handed the Emirati manager Dh200,000 and Dh50,000 remained from the bribe.

Big Project

On July 2012, the establishment announced a major Dh80m budgeted project for the expansion of one of its facilities.

The Emirati manger asked the broker to look for contractors who would bid for lesser amount.

The broker contacted three contracting companies and suggested their names on the Emirati manager.

The Emirati manager excluded one of the companies because it did not have the capability to execute such a major project.

The Emirati manager then informed the two companies through the broker to bid between Dh74 and Dh72m to ensure that the bid would be awarded to one of them.

A special committee at the establishment studied all the bids including those of the two companies who communicated with the Emirati manager through the broker.

It was agreed to award the contract to one of the two companies which made Dh72,5m bid as was the lowest bidder and was technically qualified.

The Emirati manager asked for Dh4.35m bribe which forms 6 per cent of the total value of the project to be split equally between the two women.

Bogus Contracts

The broker prepared a bogus consultancy contract between the winning bidder and a third company against which the third company shall be paid Dh100,000 for its service of channeling out the bribe.

The winning company represented in its Egyptian manager, IA, issued a cheque of Dh2.175m (50 per cent of the value of the briber) to the ‘consultancy’ company.

The Lebanese manager of the company dispensed the cheque and took for himself the agreed upon Dh100,000 in addition to other Dh250,000 value of services he was performing for the broker’s villa.

The Lebanese handed over a total of Dh1.925m on installments against cheques or cash to the broker.

The broker deducted Dh175,000 of the total amount and handed the Emirati manager a total of Dh1.750m.

The broker told the Emirati manager that she will pay her the remaining Dh325,000 for her 50 per cent share after she would receive the remaining amount from the contracting company.

The contracting company refrained from paying the remaining 50 per cent of the bribe which was to be paid in two installments 25 per cent each.

Stopped Communication

The broker learnt from managers in the contracting company that the Emirati manager had asked the company not to communicate with the broker and to deal with her directly.

The broker visited the contractor and told them that the Emirati manager has already got about Dh2m and she got only Dh175,000.

The contracting company told her that they had a verbal agreement with her that she would get only 1 per cent of the bribe and not 3 per cent.

The broker contacted the Emirati manager to assure that the agreement was that she is entitled for 3 per cent of the bribe. The latter did not answer her calls.

The broker threatened the contracting company to sue them for not fulfilling the payments against the consultancy contract they had signed with the Lebanese.

The contracting company told the broker that the remaining amount that she should get a total of Dh725,000 which is 1 per cent of the value of the contract. This means that her balance with the company is Dh550,000 since she has already got Dh175,000.

In September and December 2013, the contractor issued two cheques in the name of the consultancy company of total Dh200,000 value.

Notarised Notice

Later the broker sent a notary warning to the contracting company asking for the unpaid Dh1,975m against the consultancy contract.

The contracting company contacted the Emirati manager and told her what the broker did.

The Emirati manager asked them to not to give any attention to the broker telling that the latter cannot harm them because she does not have any legal document against them.
The Emirati manager asked the contractor to give that amount to her because she is the one who helped awarding the contract to them.

At this, the broker got very irritated with the Emirati manager and threatened her via SMS’ to move away from her way or she will scandalise her bribes and suspicious deals.

Made Good The Promise

The broker also threatened the contractor of informing the authorities if she was not paid the amount in full.

As the contractor did not respond to her, she reported the issue to the police in April 2014.

To trap the manager, the broker was asked by police to change her tone with the Emirati manager and to regret the situation and to remind her of their friendship and as a good gesture she will pay her Dh150,000 that the Lebanese deducted from the amount on top of his Dh100,000 share.

Police handed the broker the amount and the two agreed to meet but were under police supervision.

The Emirati manager was arrested red-handed holding the amount in her hand.

The court will reconvene on August 28.

By Lolyana Zaki