ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, (AP) – A plot by a phone company clerk to sell status symbol mobile numbers has rung up some serious costs: six months in an Abu Dhabi prison followed by deportation.
An Abu Dhabi court also ordered the Palestinian man to pay a 35,000 dirham ($9,500) fine.
That’s the same amount he took as a bribe for one of the distinctive numbers, which included some already belonging to members of ruling families in other parts of the United Arab Emirates.
Media reports Monday say the client who paid the bribe also faces the same punishments.
Phone numbers or license plates with easy-to-remember sequences — such as 9999 — are highly coveted in the image-conscious UAE and often command sky-high prices.