Businessman threw fake money from car in social media stunt, Dubai court told

Labourers near the scene chased after his vehicle to pick up the the bogus notes

A businessman was jailed for possession of a huge haul of fake currency, after police were alerted by a social media stunt. The National
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A businessman who threw piles of fake euro banknotes from his car for a social media stunt has been jailed for two years.

The 32-year-old Ukrainian's actions prompted a group of nearby labourers to race on to the road to pick up the notes.

Footage of the incident in Al Quoz, Dubai, was widely shared, after the man posted it to his Instagram account last year.

He was arrested in a shopping centre car park on July 6, after police were made aware of the recording.

During questioning, the defendant said he posted the video in a bid to gain more social media followers.

"The defendant violated Covid-19 social distancing rules and also endangered lives of the workers who ran after his moving car and could have been hit by other vehicles," said a police officer in evidence.

Dubai Criminal Court heard how the defendant flaunted his lavish lifestyle to almost 400,000 followers on Instagram.

This included pictures of him posing in expensive cars – including a Ferrari and a Lamborghini – while in others he showed off wads of dollars and euros.

Officers found $740,000 (Dh2.7 million) and 467,000 euros (Dh2 million) in fake banknotes at the man’s residence.

The defendant told investigators he ordered the fake dollars from a Chinese website.

Police tracked the fake euros to an Indian salesman at a printing shop in Dubai.

"He bought the fake euros for Dh1,000 from an Indian man," said the police officer.

The 36-year-old printing shop salesman was arrested while delivering 1.5 million euros in fake notes to the businessman.

"He printed the fake banknotes from a computer, after he was told the money would be distributed at a private party," said the officer.

The Ukrainian defendant was convicted of smuggling, possessing and dealing in fake currency.

The Indian defendant was convicted of forging nearly two million euros in fake notes.

Both were sentenced to two years in prison, to be followed by deportation.

They were also jointly fined Dh200,000.