Counterfeit cash used to buy lion in Dubai
A Dubai pet store owner is in trouble over allegations that he bought a lion from a breeder using forged banknotes.
The man was arrested at Dubai International Airport after a complaint by the Palestinian lion breeder and has spent the last month in custody.
The breeder claims staff at an Abu Dhabi supermarket called security after he tried to spend some of the money that had been given to him by the buyer.
The breeder claimed he did not know the money was counterfeit. The pet store owner, who is originally from India, denies the charges and told the
UAE Supreme Court he has nothing to do with counterfeiting.
His brother and father were in court to present documentation that claims to show the lion was purchased with money withdrawn from an ATM machine.
The defendant bought the lion for Dhs18,000 on November 15 last year from the Abu Dhabi-based breeder and sold it on a few days later through his Al Rashidiya pet store to an Egyptian customer.
He says he didn’t know anything about the complaint until he was about to board a flight to India last month and was arrested.
His brother, a US-based rapper, flew to the UAE to give support and was due to fly back to Texas. He said there was no way his brother would go through such risks for such a small reward.
The defendant’s father, a UAE-based Indian businessman, added: “My son has a successful business with Dhs100,000 in the bank. He is not going to go around counterfeiting small amounts of money like this.”
Court officials said the breeder is not facing any charges for handling counterfeit money.