'Flirty' UAE border control workers fined Dh100,000 and jailed for their behaviour

Employees would take the phone numbers of women passing through the borders and some even began relationships with them

Five border control workers who flirted with women travellers were each fined Dh100,000 and sentenced to three years in prison by Abu Dhabi’s Criminal Court.

According to court records, revealed on Wednesday, the men would strike up conversations with women passing through the emirate’s border and ask them for their telephone numbers.

They would then message them and attempt to convince the women to begin relationships with them.

The men, whose nationalities and ages were not disclosed in court records, were reported to police by their managers, who saw them speaking to women over a period of several months, beginning in 2018.

Their managers said they had told the men to stop but they refused to heed their warnings.

Police arrested the men and confiscated their phones, where all the messages were retrieved.

During questioning, the men admitted to flirting with women and starting up conversations over the phone.

In court, they were charged with beautifying the sin — a charge attributed to any act considered indecent according to Sharia, in this case, a relationship between an unmarried, unrelated man and woman.

The offence of beautifying a sinful action comes from the UAE penal law under the title, “Crimes that affect religious beliefs and practices”.

Such offences, if committed in public, are punishable by a minimum one year in jail or a fine. If not in public, they can still bring a fine or jail sentence. The offence is unique to UAE law.

Prosecutors reviewed surveillance footage taken at the border control office that showed the men speaking to the women and taking down their mobile numbers.

All five men were convicted with beautifying the sin and were each sentenced to three years in prison and fined Dh100,000.

Four of the group were temporarily suspended from their jobs, while one was fired. The defendant that was fired was separately convicted of sharing confidential work information with others for tricking his colleagues into giving him some of the women’s contact details, which he then shared with the rest of the defendants.

The court sentenced him to an additional three years in prison for sharing confidential work information with others.

Published: September 11, 2019 06:29 PM


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