A United Arab Emirates court on Sunday ordered a 25-year-old Filipina jailed for six months for forging and emailing e-visas to Dubai-bound vacationers and embezzling Dh64,000 (P776,175.30) in the process.
The Dubai Court of First Instance convicted the Filipina of forging tourism visa applications and embezzling the proceeeds from the agency, UAE news site Gulf News reported late Sunday.
It cited findings showing the Filipina used her position as a travel consultant at a private tourism agency to email forced tourism visas to potential tourists, then embezzling the costs in January.
Presiding judge Ezzat Abdul Lat also fined the Filipina Dh150,000, then ordered her deported once she serves her sentence.
The ruling is subject to appeal within 12 days.
For her part, the Filipina had pleaded guilty to the charges. “I forged the visas and took the money for myself,” she said.
Court records said the accused printed out authentic tourism visa forms from Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs’ online system.
She made photocopies of these but tampered with the tourists’ details on them, then emailed them to potential tourists, pocketing the money they sent her.
An Indian business partner in the agency said two tourists from the Philippines called them and told them the visas they bought were forged.
“Two of our Filipino clients told us over the phone that the two tourist visas they had purchased turned out to be fake. The clients said a local travel agent in their country deals with our agency and that was how they purchased the visas. Our records revealed that (the Filipina) had issued those e-visas,” said the partner.
When the Filipina was confronted with the findings, the partner said she confessed she forged the visas and embezzled Dh64,000, and that she abused her duties.
Last month, the Dubai Court of First Instance heard charges against the travel consultant for a separate case where she allegedly embezzled Dh6,100 (P71,041) from a travel agency when she faked the two e-visas.
In the case, a woman told prosecutors she asked the Filipina to book two-way tickets for her mother and sister and to issue them visit visas.
She said the defendant emailed her in January photocopies of the visas and claimed that she sent the original to the Philippines.
The defendant was cited admitting to prosecutors that she forged the visas and kept the money for herself.