Abu Dhabi: An attempt to steal $14.4 billion (Dh52.96 billion) from the UAE Central Bank by fraud was foiled by Abu Dhabi Police recently.
The fraud case is the fourth of its kind in less than a year, according to Colonel Hammad Ahmad Al Hammadi, Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, who said the scam planner was the same gang leader who is wanted internationally by Interpol.
The four separate attempts were made by Iranian suspect Farzeen Ali Karoyan Mutlaq, who is the fraud leader.
They were in US dollars and euros, equal to Dh244 billion and Dh609 million. Mutlaq claimed that the sums were family investments he had inherited from his forefathers.
Abu Dhabi Police has warned the public to be cautious and not to deal with Mutlaq and asked the public to be quick in reporting him.
Colonel Al Hammadi said the cooperation between the Abu Dhabi Police's Criminal Investigation Department and the money laundering section at the Central Bank, in addition to the swift reporting of forged documents and the response of the police, led to the arrest of two individuals: one with a mission visa (E.H.K, 47) and another a US resident of Iranian descent (N.A.B, 47).
Colonel Dr Rashid Mohammad Bu Rasheed, Head of the Organised Crime Section at the Criminal Investigation Department, said the two suspects presented forged papers to the Central Bank and claimed that Mutlaq owned investments in properties worth $14.4 billion and $400 million. He added that the sum was transferred from Germany to Iran through the UAE's Central Bank.
The suspect E.H.K also had Power of Attorney authorising him to receive the imaginary sum and transfer it to Mutlaq to finance his "imaginary" trade project back home.
Colonel Dr Bu Rasheed said this is Mutlaq's fourth attempt to commit fraud.
He added that the two accomplices are being investigated by the police. The first suspect confessed that he received the documents that were submitted to the bank by Mutlaq back in their home country, and that he did not know they were forged.
The suspect also said that he presented the document to the bank to check its authenticity, and that he was introduced to Mutlaq as an investor who is capable of financing projects. The American suspect, however, denied the accusations and said he was only a translator.
Colonel Dr Bu Rasheed described Mutlaq's move as "stupid" as the Central Bank is a government entity that only deals with government departments and financial establishments and does not deal with individuals directly.
Abu Dhabi Courts are currently looking into the previous fraud cases in which other suspects are on trial.