Expired food scam in Abu Dhabi: Emirati couple sentenced to 66 years in jail, fined Dh39 million

Estimated read time 6 min read

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Expired food scam: Emirati gets 66-year jail term

An Emirati man and his wife have been sentenced to 66 years in jail and fined Dh39 million for an expired food scam where they would tamper with the expiration dates to sell expired food in the market.

The Abu Dhabi Court of Cassation upheld judgements handed down against the Emirati couple and 16 other defendants of different nationalities involved in 12 cases relating to offences of abuse of public funds, forgery, bribery, illicit gain, misappropriation, commercial fraud and disruption of a public facility. The 16 people were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 3 to 15 years, and fines totaling Dh13 million.

An investigation from the Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution revealed that the Emirati couple set up private warehouses in their home to store expired food and consumer goods. With their helpers, they would change the expiry date of expired food products prior before distributing the products for sale back in the market.

According to investigation, the couple “provided incorrect and misleading commercial data in respect of goods and products, including organic food products, thus endangering people’s health and lives.” They also promoted adulterated out-of-date products using misleading advertising with incorrect data “intended to induce the public to buy such products, claiming that they are of good quality and fit for consumption.”

To carry out the illegal operation, the couple committed grave crimes, including soliciting and accepting gifts by claiming to be linked to a public authority so they can connect a water pipe to a farm in breach of regulations and without installing a meter. They also destroyed pipes belonging to the water distribution authority by connecting a water pipe from the farm to the main pipe, disrupting the main water flow.

They also intentionally caused damage to electrical equipment belonging to the electric authority, which caused power disruption in six properties, and made illegal electric connections that could lead to electrical leak and ignition that would endanger people’s lives.

The couple also attempted to appropriate a public road separating two farms, forging official documents so they can merge two farms. ICA/Expat Media


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