DUBAI // A Sudanese man who tried to trick his victim out of US$75,000 (Dh275,486) by claiming he had magical powers that could bring money down from the stars was convicted of attempted fraud by Dubai Criminal Court.
M S, 44, and accomplices M A, 35 and A A, 41, also Sudanese, were found guilty of attempted fraud and possessing $465,300 in counterfeit notes. They were each fined Dh10,000 and jailed for three years on Sunday.
H A, 42, an Omani, said that three months before Ramadan, he began receiving calls from one of the conmen telling him that he could make him rich.
“He told me that he had powers to bring money through the stars and that he was a famous religious man who had a great knowledge of astronomy,” said H A.
“He asked me for cash to buy holy water and other things to use, in order to increase my wealth. I ignored him but he kept calling and then he asked to meet me.”
The court heard H A agreed to meet one of the men in Al Ain, who then asked for Dh7,000 to buy the necessary materials. H A refused and left. Twenty days later, the defendant called him again and asked for another meeting.
“I went along and then he showed me something that looked like saffron and said that he bought it for Dh3,500 so he could use it to increase my wealth,” said H A.
“He asked if I wanted to buy it but I again refused. He called me again at the beginning of Ramadan, so I called Dubai Police, who asked me to play along so that the man could be arrested.”
In August the three defendants were arrested in Al Baraha when they went to meet H A.
“One of them was seen heading to his car and picking up a box which contained the fake dollars,” said Emirati police officer A M A, 27.
“We arrested them, although they resisted and tried to run away.”
At Dubai Criminal Court in October all three men denied the charges.
“I’ve never seen this cash before,” claimed M S.
The conmen will be deported after their sentences.