Court verdict on telephone case due May 2

The Dubai Court of First Instance will reach a verdict on May 2 in a case concerning the transfer of telephone calls from the US to the UAE at local charge rates.

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By  Zoe Moleshead Published  April 12, 2001

The Dubai Court of First Instance will reach a verdict on May 2 in a case concerning the transfer of telephone calls from the US to the UAE at local charge rates. Al Aqrab for Information Technology is alleged to have worked with US company Wonder Communications to defraud Etisalat by re-routing telephone calls from the US through the Internet to the UAE and Etisalat’s network, while charging subscribers at a local rate.

Etisalat were alerted to the scam when they received complaints from members of the public who were receiving calls from the US that were showing up as local calls on their telephones, said Hamad Al Mehairi, managing partner of Emirates Advocates Attorneys and Counsellors at Law, Etisalat’s lawyer.

The two defendants Ishaq Hussain and Mohammed Junied Makhdoumi are reported to have confessed their guilt to Dubai police, but the defence is claiming that their actions were not illegal and that the case should be thrown out of court.

The company which was functioning from a flat in Khalid bin Walid street was raided by police on July 22 last year, and police confiscated a number of computer, files and 14 domestic phones as well as electronic equipment.

A second case involving a Gulf e-Business was adjourned yesterday until April 24 for Etisalat’s lawyer to respond to the company’s defence. Gulf e-Business is similarly accused of illegally bypassing Etisalat’s service and depriving it of revenue from international calls, as well as conspiring with US companies to prevent international calls passing through Etisalat’s network.

Gulf e-Business reportedly obtained a license from Dubai Internet City, and was functioning from an office in Al Meena street. The company admitted transferring calls from the Internet to Etisalat’s network, but claimed it was only for a few seconds, while they were experimenting with equipment.

The company also claimed that since it was a limited liability company the responsibility shouldn’t lie with the two defendants, but with the company. The company confessed to Police that it had an agreement with Quick Link to transfer calls from the US from June 26 last year.

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