Dubai: A Dubai-based TV channel producer returning from London last week got the shock of his life when he was arrested for alleged credit card fraud.
Zohaib Hussain, a 25-year-old Pakistani, had gone to the UK to cover the ICC Champions Trophy cricket tournament for his employers Ten Sports.
However, soon after his Emirates flight landed at Terminal 3, he was detained and taken into police custody when it emerged a bank had filed a case against him at a Sharjah police station last month.
A friend and co-worker of Hussain who also travelled for the tournament and has been coordinating with the officials since their return told XPRESS: “It seems one of our former colleagues had got a credit card issued using Zohaib’s identity and then made some dubious transactions using the card. The bank understood this and even cleared Zohaib, but unfortunately he doesn’t have that in writing. I guess that’s causing all the problems because the bank has pressed charges of fraud against him and now claim to have evidence [against Hussain].”
The friend showed XPRESS records of Hussain’s communication with the bank in which he had lodged a written complaint on July 26 last year expressing his angst at getting monthly statements. “And again we have received a bill. It’s a headache and we are extremely irritated by the fact that though we have made clear that we have never had any kind of relationship with your bank, still we are receiving those bills???,” read an excerpt from the mail copied to two Risk and Compliance officers of the bank.
In response to a complaint lodged by Hussain at the bank’s Jebel Ali branch on October 30, 2011, a bank officer had replied on January 30, 2012 saying, “The case is already transferred to our legal team in Dubai and the Dubai prosecution and will be resolved soon.”
Hussain never expected things to take such a nasty turn. “The fact that they took away the principle amount and started sending me statements with just the outstanding interest assured me they were perhaps working on clearing my name and maybe they were finally acknowledging that I wasn’t the user of the card.
“That wasn’t quite the case however, as I found out the hard way,” he told XPRESS.
Hussain spend two nights in custody before he was let out on bail last Friday. “I don’t know why I was detained in the first place. I am told that I have been charged for using the credit card and making transactions worth about Dh22,000 but I have nothing to do with the bank and the credit card. I do not have a credit card of the bank and neither have I made those transactions,” Hussain said.
“Even though I am out on bail, my name has still not been cleared. I really hope that happens at the earliest as I have further travel plans. Till then I am living an uncomfortable life,” he added.
A comment from the bank was not immediately available. However, an officer at the Sharjah Police headquarters, said it was a case of ‘Al naseb wa al ehteyal’ (swindling and fraud in Arabic).
A court in Sharjah has asked for the forensic reports of the evidence presented by the bank and Hussain is due for a hearing.