Police have warned Dubai residents; be careful who you trust, after an Indian man learnt that the hard way after he handed over his passport as security to bail a friend only for him to disappear two years ago.
Basheer PP , 35 is still without his passport after Sharief Mohammed Kutty, 27 went into hiding after being released by police in 2004.
He had been arrested after trying to sell stolen mobile phones, but was released pending trial when trusting Basheer agreed to put up his passport as guarantee. Basheer has been unable to travel home since then, and was not even able to attend his daughter’s funeral in March.
Basheer, who runs a cafeteria in Al Rigga road had met Sharief in 2004.
He lived in a nearby building and became quite close to all of us at the cafeteria. One day he called me from the police station and said he was arrested on a false case. He begged me to bail him out, Basheer told.
I immediately made all the arrangements and within a day submitted my passport at the police station and got him out. He promised to get my passport out within two days and left for Abu Dhabi. That is the last time I ever saw him, Basheer recalls.
Sharief is believed to be living somewhere in the UAE and even still uses him mobile phone. But friends and acquaintances say they have not seen him since his arrest two years ago.
In his absence, a Dubai courts sentenced sharief to one year in jail and ordered him to pay a find of Dhs. 35,000.
Basheer claims that police told him that he would have to locate Sharief in order to get his passport back.
However, according to lawyer Samsudeen Karunagappally from Al Cabban Advocate and Consultancy, the prosecution has the discretionary power to release the passport of the guarantor provided he or she pays the amount mentioned in the bail bond, which could be up to Dhs. 10,000.
Dubai police refused to comment on the specific case but an official advised people to retain a healthy amount of skepticism in similar cases.
People should know that bailing out others means they are accepting and taking on their debts and obligations which means they may end up finding themselves sitting in jail or forking out large amounts of cash, the police official told.