UAE | Crime

Fake message causes hike in 999 calls

Police vow to find and punish culprit of Blackberry Messenger message linking to 999 hotline

  • By Bassma Al Jandaly, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 July 7, 2011
  • Gulf News

Dubai: The Dubai Police said that their operations room received a large number of phone calls on Monday from Blackberry Messenger (BBM) which put a lot of pressure on police.

A senior police official said on Wedneesday that whoever was behind sending a Blackberry Messenger (BBM) message including a link, which, upon clicking would dial 999, will be punished according to law.

Brigadier Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, Director General of Dubai Police Criminal and Investigation Department, said that the operation room received about 14,000 calls in five hours, as the message started going around from 5pm to 10pm on Monday, increasing call volumes by 120 per cent compared to the normal rate of 6,000 calls every eight hours of work.

"The investigations are ongoing to find the identity of the person who started this irresponsible action," he said, adding that 999 is only for urgent matters.

"We will arrest the suspect very soon and they will be accountable and will be punished according to Penal code article number 298 of disturbing authorities."

He said they will face one year in jail and will pay a fine of not less than Dh10,000. He said that those who receive a link on the BBM and click on it were taken directly to 999 and this service is available in most of the new generation mobile phones.

He said the public should be careful when opening such suspected links.

Gulf News
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