(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Forgery of an official document copy shall be sentenced to a period not exceeding five years in prison.
Forging a tenancy contract to obtain residence visas for family members is a crime and residents should refrain from doing so, a top prosecutor told Khaleej Times. Ali Humeid bin Khatem, head of the Naturalisation and Residency Prosecution, stressed that residents, who want to apply for visas for their family members, should really have an accommodation, whether rented or owned.
Ali Humeid bin Khatem, head of the Naturalisation and Residency ProsecutionAccording to Article 217 of the Federal Penal Code, whoever forges an official document copy shall be sentenced to a period not exceeding five years in prison. Whoever uses the forged copy while aware it is forged will also get the same prison term. "The residency prosecution has been investigating 15 cases related to forgery of tenancy contracts and registration certificates of such contracts. We referred eight defendants to the Criminal Court on forgery charges. The remaining seven cases are still under investigation," bin Khatem said.
He urged residents to refrain from presenting forged tenancy contracts because "they would be caught and be held accountable as per the law". "According to Article 121 of the Federal Penal Code, the courts, both Criminal and the Misdemeanours, may order the deportation of the accused in forgery cases."
Bin Khatem admitted that such law violations might have been committed previously, but pointed out that with the rule which stipulates the tenancy contracts be registered in the Ejari programme of the Land Department, the detection of such forgeries have become easier and more systematic.
The Chief Prosecutor recounted one of the cases with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs (GDRFA). "A resident wanted to bring his wife and applied for a visa for her. He submitted an authentic tenancy document. A short time later, the brother of that resident applied for a visa for his mother and submitted the same contract. The officer at the counter noticed that he had seen the name on the copy before and realized the document was forged."
Bin Khatem pointed out that the Public Prosecution did not level charges against the holder of the original authentic document, given that he was not involved in the forgery crime. "Only the brother was caught and referred to the Follow-up and Investigation Section of the GDRFA."
The GDRFA would coordinate with the Land Department to eliminate any doubt pertaining to tenancy contracts. Even if the tenancy contracts are issued from other emirates, the residency prosecution contacts the relevant authorities to verify the authenticity of the documents.
"A reply from their side could take up to one week or more. Investigation in such cases could take around one week or ten days," he said.
"They should indeed have a rented flat or a place of their own so that they could provide the required documents to be able to sponsor their relatives. They should refrain from submitting forged tenancy contracts. Otherwise, they would be subject to legal accountability," bin Khatem warned.