The former CEO of property developer Deyaar, ZS, was on Monday sentenced to 15 years in jail after he was found guilty of asking and accepting bribes. The US national has also been accused of dissipating about Dh30 million in bribes during his tenure with the company between 2004 and 2007. The convict appealed immediately after the verdict was given and the first hearing to be held by the Prosecution is scheduled on April 23.
The Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance sentenced ZS to 15 years in jail for taking Dh20 million as bribe in return for approving contracts with other two companies in the cases dating back to July 2009. His accomplices KM, 61, Argentinian partner of Ambiance Technology, and other two fugitives – FL, Canadian project manager, and AS, British director-general, both of Thermo – were sentenced to ten years in jail each after they were found guilty of taking Dh10 million in bribes with the help of ZS.
The four were ordered to pay jointly Dh28,556,535 in fines to Deyaar. The court, however, acquitted them of the charge of using forged documents. Only the Thermo managers were found guilty of embezzling Dh500,000 and were each fined Dh500,000 and ordered to pay the amount to Deyaar.
According to the records, the Thermo managers were awarded a contract by Deyaar in June 2005 for U1 and U2 Towers in Jumeirah Lakes worth Dh71 million. Deyaar awarded another contract to the same company in February 2006 for a tower in Business Bay worth Dh76 million and a third contract was for the Metropolis Tower in the same project worth Dh55 million.
DK, a project evaluation manager at Thermo, testified that the company’s executives were directed not to directly deal with Deyaar and leave that to AS and FL. “The two managers prepared the contracts and sent them to Deyaar’s CEO.” Audits of the company’s records and bank accounts of the two managers proved that more than Dh30 million was transferred to their private accounts. The director of the Financial Audit Department also testified that he found cheques issued to Deyaar’s CEO besides a number of incriminating international money transfers.