Emirati was paid to change details on residency department computer to say more than 600 people had left the country, Dubai court hears.

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DUBAI // A passport control officer took Dh400,000 in bribes for altering records to falsely show that hundreds of people who entered the country on visit visas had left, a court was told.

Dubai Criminal Court was told that on February 20 and before then, Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department worker M A, 27, was allegedly paid to change the status of 641 people.

The Emirati is charged with accepting bribes, forging official documents and the use of forged documents by saving them on the department’s system.

Pakistanis K B, 29, and N K, 40, are both charged with aiding and abetting.

N K is charged with offering the bribe to M A, while K B is charged with mediating between the other two.

After a tip-off about his alleged activities, an internal department investigation found that departure data had been amended using the usernames and passwords of two other workers without their knowledge.

M A A, 30, an Emirati inspector, said he double-checked all the names of people that M A had entered into the system and found that all of them had entered the country on visit visas but did not leave.

“I sent a list of the names to the airlines and they confirmed that they did not leave the country,” he said.

He said the passport control officer was arrested and told to lure K B to a meeting with him so he could be arrested, too. “K B had Dh19,500 and 18 passports on him at the time of arrest, while M A had Dh30,000 in his car when we arrested him,” said the inspector.

When questioned by prosecutors, the accused officer allegedly admitted that he would receive a list of people via text whose exit status he should falsify and, he said, he would meet K B for payment.

All three defendants denied charges in court this week.

The next hearing will be in October.

salamir@thenational.ae