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Two mistakes leave German woman in Abu Dhabi jail with $180,000 debt

ABU DHABI // Brigitte Scholz made two mistakes that landed her in prison.

The first was to trust the Nigerian “businessman” who absconded with $180,000 that she was convicted of stealing. The second was to employ a “lawyer” who turned out to be a conman.

As reported in The National last week, Mohamad Al Kawadri is one of a group of impostors posing as lawyers who tout for business outside court buildings and dupe unwary clients into paying for their services.

Six legitimate law firms have filed cases against him and one is demanding Dh2 million in compensation.

Mr Al Kawadri, from Syria, claims to represent “all the foreign embassies”, and he told Mrs Scholz he worked for the German embassy. In fact, he is not licensed to practise law in the UAE.

In the case of the Syrian businessman, Mr Hakawati, the “lawyer” tried to persuade Mrs Scholz to sign a legally binding “debt acknowledgement”, which no competent legal representative would have done and which contributed to her conviction.

The German embassy has already raised the alarm over Mr Al Kawadri’s activities. In an email to Mr Hakawati, they said: “Mrs Scholz was legally represented by Mr Mohamad Ziad Naim Al Kawadri, who made false declarations in her name. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the UAE, as well as all diplomatic missions accredited in the UAE, are informed about his fraud.”

* Shireena Al Nuwais

The National