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Herve Jaubert fled Dubai dressed as a woman

Posted by 7starsdubai on August 18, 2009


source Arabian Business

A former French special agent who worked for Dubai World has spoken of his anger at being convicted in absence of defrauding the company out of millions of dirhams – a charge he strongly denies.

Herve Jaubert told Arabian Business of a carefully planned escape from Dubai aboard a rubber dingy and dressed in a burqa to evade police using skills he developed as a spy.

The former French naval officer, who is now living in the United States, said he is not worried about being tracked down to face his five-year prison sentence because he can prove his innocence.

“I deny everything,” he told Arabian Business during a telephone interview. “When I saw that I was convicted in absentia I was totally outraged.  But no matter what the truth is going to come out eventually.”

One way he hopes to be able to do this is through his book outlining the story of his escape, which is due to be published in October.

Jaubert told Arabian Business he decided to flee the country last year after his passport was confiscated by police and he was fired by Dubai World.

“In Dubai, if you don’t have a passport and you don’t have a job you cannot survive,” he said. “I found myself in this situation. So instead of fighting it, I told the auditors I would pay them back. I did not sign anything, but I played the game.”

Meanwhile he was planning his escape. Jaubert sent his wife and children back to Florida where they had all been living before moving to Dubai in 2004, and once they were gone he went into hiding.

“Once I was alone in Dubai then I turned to what I used to do before as an intelligence officer.

“A friend would rent a room for me in a hotel with his passport so my details would never show up. I would stay in the hotel for three days and then change.

“I bought a sail boat, and then I bought a rubber dingy and I escaped on the dingy. When I was a secret agent for my country I used to do that – go in and out of countries on a rubber dingy – because no one pays attention to a rubber dingy.”

Jaubert left from a beach in Fujairah early one morning after sabotaging the only coast guard boat in the area to make sure no one could follow him.

He spent six hours aboard the rubber dingy before meeting his friend, who had sailed his boat into international waters, and the pair headed to India on a journey that took eight days.

“I’m a naval officer, so at that point I knew what I was doing,” he said.

“When I was a secret agent I was a ghost, but here it was different, I was not a ghost anymore. I decided to disguise myself as a woman and then I became a ghost.

“When you are covered from head-to-toe in an abaya and veil nobody talks to you, nobody looks at you. Wearing the abaya nobody bothered me, it’s like I never existed.

“That’s the best disguise you can find because even a police officer can not talk to you.”

Jaubert was sentenced to five years in jail and fined AED14m by Dubai Criminal Court at a hearing in June at which he was not present.

The court was told that Jaubert’s company, Seahorse Submarines, had bought equipment worth AED11.8m for Exomos, the submarine division of Dubai World, but that it did not all arrive.

Jaubert had a contract with Dubai World to build two submarines, but prosecutors told the court that when the vessels were delivered they were incomplete and faulty. He wrote to Dubai World and agreed to settle the matter by paying an initial AED3m, but he fled the country before handing over any money.

My book is going to come out and people are going to know the true story and then I will put it behind me,” Jaubert said.

He is even confident that readers in Dubai will be able to get a copy.

“There’s no way this book is going to be available in Dubai in the open, but I’ve found a way. There will be some tricks, if you want. The book will be disguised. If you order the book you might receive a book on flowers or furniture, but it’s just a cover,” he said.

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