Police officer 'posed as shop inspector'

A policeman allegedly posed as a municipality inspector and told shop owners they could pay him Dh1,000 to avoid a Dh10,000 fine.

Abu Dhabi // A policeman posed as a municipality inspector and told shop owners they could pay him Dh1,000 to avoid a Dh10,000 fine for breaking hygiene laws, the Criminal Court of First Instance heard yesterday. SN, an officer in the ambulance department who works in Al Rahba, visited shops in Shahama posing as an inspector, prosecutors said. Shop owners said he wore a police uniform and told them police were doing inspections on behalf of the municipality.

SN would wipe the shelves, then tell shopkeepers their stores were not hygienic, according to evidence. Shop owners said SN told them they would be fined Dh10,000 for failing to meet standards - but they had a less costly option. "He asked me for the original copy of the shop licence, and then he took it with him," one shop owner told the court. "He then told me he would return the licence and would not fine me if I paid him Dh1,000."

SN was charged with accepting a bribe but denied the charges yesterday, saying he had confessed to police under duress. All the shop owners said he visited their shops between 2pm and 3pm. SN asked the court to summon two of his colleagues to say he was at work during that period. The judge adjourned the case to hear their evidence. @Email:hhassan@thenational.ae