Man accepts bribe to hack Dubai Civil Defences' system, court told

The man would alter clearance letters for construction companies for a fee of Dh4,000 per document, the court heard

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A computer engineer was bribed thousands of dirhams to hack Dubai Civil Defence’s electronic system and alter inspection clearance letters for buildings under construction, the criminal court was told.

The Jordanian accused, 33, worked for an IT company that had partnered with Civil Defence to develop a programme for the department’s online services and provide them with technical support.

The defendant was tasked with providing DCD with support and working from their headquarters in Al Qusais.

In August last year, an Omani public relations officer, 35, asked the engineer to hack the system and alter the status of some clearance letters in return for Dh4,000 for each letter changed.

Clearance documents are issued upon inspection of a construction site and state that the building meets fire safety standards.

Police were tipped off about the Omani’s illegal activity and sent an undercover officer, posing as a customer, to meet and offer him a bribe. The man was arrested while accepting the money.

The PRO told police about his accomplice during questioning after which an arrest warrant was obtained and the engineer was arrested.
During police questioning, the engineer said he had financial problems when he agreed to alter the first letter in May last year.
"He told us he forged about six letters and after altering each one on the system, the applicant would receive a text message to use the username and password provided to him to print out the letter following which, the engineer would delete the letter from the system," said an Emirati Lieutenant, 28.
He said the PRO worked as a middle man and provided the engineer with the applications numbers by phone. The engineer would access the system and forge the documents.

The Jordanian was charged with accepting bribes, forgery, use of forged documents, gaining illegal access to the DCD electronic system, and abusing authorities assigned to him by DCD.
The Omani was charged with offering bribes and aiding and abetting the engineer.

Both men denied charges in court and requested that the hearing be rescheduled so they could be appointed defence lawyers.

The next hearing is scheduled for July 10.