A UAE court fined European 32,000 dirhams over TikTok scams

The Dubai Court of Appeal recently affirmed a verdict from a lower court, sentencing a 23-year-old European visitor to two months in prison, deportation, and a fine of 32,000 dirhams.

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This ruling came after convicting him of fraudulently obtaining money from others and exploiting social media, particularly TikTok, to advertise his purported ability to secure visas for an Asian country. His modus operandi involved showcasing images of individuals with suitcases at airports, claiming they were celebrating visa acquisitions, and displaying alleged visas he had obtained for others.

According to Dubai Public Prosecution investigations, the perpetrator strategically targeted specific nationalities, successfully persuading two acquaintances of the same nationality to part with approximately 32,000 dirhams under the guise of securing work visas for them in an Asian nation. The victims, realizing they were deceived, reported the incident to the police, leading to the perpetrator's arrest and subsequent court proceedings.

Despite the accused's attempts to challenge the initial verdict, both the court of first instance and the court of appeals upheld the ruling. The defendant argued procedural inadequacies in the investigations, but these claims were dismissed. The lawsuit documents revealed that the accused falsely represented himself as having connections in the travel and tourism sectors, assuring victims of his capability to facilitate visa procurement. He bolstered his claims with fabricated airport photos and visa images, convincing the victims to hand over significant sums of money and their passports.

The victims recounted their interactions with the accused, stating that they met him through social media, where he promised to arrange work visas. However, after multiple delays and excuses, he confessed to his inability to fulfill his promises, evading requests for refunds and cutting off communication entirely. Dubai Police corroborated the victims' accounts, substantiating fraudulent activities and leading to the perpetrator's apprehension. Despite his denial of the charges, evidence presented by the public prosecutor, including incriminating video clips promoting visa services, ultimately resulted in his conviction.

The court's verdict, citing fraudulent appropriation of funds, mandated a two-month prison sentence, deportation, and a hefty fine. This case underscores the importance of vigilance against online fraud and the legal repercussions perpetrators face for such deceitful practices.

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