Scammers skim Dh1.2m from trader's account in Dubai

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An unidentified suspect also had a major part in the fraud as he was experienced in targeting specific bank customers.

A bank customer lost over Dh1.2 million after fraudulent transactions were done in his name and mobile line.

The Court of First Instance heard that over the period from January 27 to February 9, 2016, many withdrawal orders were processed via online banking services on the Arab victim's account by fraudsters who misused his mobile number linked with his bank.

The suspects include a 30-year-old Indian working for a recruitment office that is in contractual relation with the bank. He allegedly used his power of access into the bank system and leaked the victim's account and other personal data to a 25-year-old Pakistani clerk. Another unidentified suspect also had a major part in the fraud as he was experienced in targeting specific bank customers.

Seven other men, Indians and Pakistanis, helped and abetted the pair in the fraud and forgery. They allegedly faked the victim's ID copy and presented it to a telecommunication provider branch, impersonating the victim and applying for a lost SIM card replacement. They allegedly offered and paid an employee Dh10,000 bribe, to disconnect the service off the original SIM card and wrongfully issue another card (without the presence of the person concerned and without his/her original documents).

A 63-year-old Emirati trader said that he had been following up on the business and bank transactions on behalf of a GCC businessman. "I was managing his bank accounts with a power of attorney since 1992. To make matters easier for me, I gave his bank my personal phone number to have it linked with all transactions done on his accounts.

"On January 26, 2016, I found out that my mobile line was disconnected. I went to the phone service provider who told me that someone had applied for a SIM card replacement."

On February 10, 2016, he was contacted by a manager at the bank (the victim's bank) and was told to visit the bank. "There I learned about the transactions. The embezzled amounts were in excess of Dh1.2 million," he recounted. The trader learned from the manager that the fraudsters replaced his number with a number belonging to one of them and used the online banking application to withdraw large amounts of money from January 27 to February 9 of 2016.

He lodged a complaint at Naif police station. A police lieutenant said they arrested the two suspects at the Dubai International Airport while trying to flee the UAE.

The trial will continue on October 27.

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