Sunday, 19 November 2017 06:33 GMT
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3 men on trial in Dubai for illegal sale of gas cylinders

(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) A 53-year-old Pakistani national and two Afghan nationals, both aged 25, who engaged in illegal selling of gas cylinders by using fake stickers and duping the customers have gone on trial on Thursday.

The Court of First Instance was told the three men would buy new cylinders from the source, then refill them into empty cylinders by manipulating the weight. They would re-sell the newly refilled pieces, to bakeries, after covering them with fake stickers to deceive the customers into believing they were getting the real deal. The court heard their illegal activities' aim was to make profits by not sticking to the standard weight.

They faced charges of faking a government company brand name and using it unlawfully, transporting inflammable merchandise, dealing in hazardous material, committing fraud in commercial deals and putting others' lives at risk.

The 53-year-old Pakistani driver admitted during the investigation he made the other two accomplices work in emptying and re-filling of gas cylinders. He would buy the gas from the source then transport it to a farm.

He and the others would then empty the new ones and re-fill them into old cylinders. They would manipulate the weight to benefit from the difference in prices.

He confessed they had modest experience in that but were doing it anyway and without any knowledge or respect to safety requirements.

They would put the fake stickers on the newly-refilled cylinders to manage to sell them as new ones.

He told the investigating prosecutor he had bought 1,000 counterfeit stickers for Dh500. He would then transport the re-filled cylinders to sell them to bakeries. The defendants' wrongdoings dated to March 26 and were reported in early August to Al Foqaa police station.

The police were alerted by an inspector at the operations section of a gas company, in whose name the stickers had been faked and illegally traded.

"Officers from the civil defence informed us about suspicious gas cylinders that carried our brand name. We moved to the warehouse from where the accused were carrying out their illegal activities," the inspector said.

"We learned they would buy and transport gas cylinders from the original trader and then refill them inside empty cylinders, thus manipulating the weight. By that time we also received many complaints from customers that they had purchased half-filled cylinders. We were shocked because that would affect our reputation in the market.

"We also realised the defendants would never respect the safety conditions when re-filling the cylinders, which could put the life of the customers at risk because of explosion hazard," the inspector added. The trial has been adjourned to November 22.


Marie Nammour

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3 men on trial in Dubai for illegal sale of gas cylinders

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