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Indian housewife wrongly jailed in UAE over a bounced cheque she never wrote


Mary D’Souza has been in UAE detention for over 18 months

In the UAE, guilt by association is a crime. Evidence of wrongdoing is often less important than simply being available to prosecute. Such is the case for 57 year old Indian national Mary Harold D’Souza, a middle-aged housewife in detention since January 2018 for crimes about which she had no knowledge.

The case is a somewhat complicated shell game in which questionable middlemen made off with millions of dirhams and left the company Rabahi International insolvent, and Mary D’Souza criminally liable for a bounced company cheque she never wrote.

Unfortunately, her name appears as a partner on Rabahi International’s business license, and though she held no position at the company, and had no involvement in its activities; in the UAE she can be held accountable for the actions of anyone who worked there.

Mary’s husband, Harold D’Souza was managing Rabahi, but used his wife’s name to register the company because he was already employed elsewhere and restricted from establishing a new business. Rabahi was a limited liability trading firm, in a 50-50 partnership with an Emirati local, who, like Mary, had no active role in the company.

Harold D’Souza was approached by Mike Baqi the director of Spielberger, which was in a joint venture with Qatari Investment firm QNAB. He said he required Rabahi to supply materials for a project. Al Zubair is a real estate company and wanted to sup