DUBAI // A man denied this morning knowing US dollars with which he tried to purchase cigarettes from a Dubai Duty Free shop were fake.
The defendant, AM, 39, Syrian, told the Dubai Criminal Court of First instance that he had bought US$5,000 (Dh18,000) from an exchange centre in Syria and did not know they were fake.
He said he was flying to China for business and landed in Dubai as a transit passenger.
“I was trying to buy cigarettes for my friend in China when the shop saleswoman told me the $100 bill I gave her was forged,” he said.
Prosecution charged him with possessing 48 such bills for the purposes of using them in the UAE.
AMF, a Filipina saleswoman at a Dubai Duty Free shop, testified that the defendant came to the shop on the night of January 9 and tried to buy two packs of cigarettes.
She said he handed her a $100 bill and when she examined it, she saw it was fake. AMF added that she asked the defendant to present a new bill, and he gave her another fake note.
She said she called airport security, who arrested the defendant.
The defendant’s defense lawyer told the court that a receipt from the exchange centre in Syria, which sold his client the fake dollars, proves there was no criminal intent.
A verdict is expected on March 29.