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Bank manager, official accused of siphoning off client’s Dh26 million in Dubai

Suspects opened phoney bank accounts, forged documents to embezzle money in three years

Gulf News

Dubai: A bank branch manager and an administrative officer have been accused of defrauding a businessman of Dh26 million using deceptive methods and forged bank papers over a period of four years.

The manager and the officer, both Emirati, were said to have created two phoney bank accounts and made money transfers from the 55-year-old Emirati businessman’s account to those accounts.

The manager, who managed a local bank’s branch in Nad Al Hamar, used his authority to change the private details [mobile number and postal address] of the businessman and applied for net banking services to transfer the latter’s money to the phoney accounts.

The officer had opened the bank accounts in his name so that the manager would transfer the businessman’s money to those accounts in different money transfer operations such as cheque, bank-to-bank and online transfers.

Shortly after the businessman realised that his money was disappearing, he notified the bank’s management before an internal investigation revealed that the businessman had been transferring his money to other accounts.

Upon confronting the businessman with the findings, the 55-year-old client denied issuing any cheques or doing any online or bank-to-bank money transfers or cash withdrawals.

Further investigation showed that the branch manager was the one who had been transferring the money after he had changed the businessman’s private details without his consent.

The police took the Emirati manager and administrative officer into custody for questioning after the businessman lodged a criminal lawsuit against them for embezzling his money.

Prosecutors accused the two suspects of forging different bank papers and embezzling the businessman’s Dh26 million.

According to the accusation sheet, prosecutors said the manager abused his authority as a public servant [manager of a local bank], forged different papers and online transactions and embezzled Dh26 million between November 2011 and July 2014.

His countryman was accused of aiding and abetting the manager, according to the accusation sheet, by opening two accounts in another bank and receiving the embezzled money in bank-to-bank transfers and cheque withdrawals.

Prosecutors also accused the duo of committing a money laundering crime worth Dh5.7 million.

The suspects did not enter a plea when they appeared before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Wednesday.

Presiding judge Fahd Al Shamsi did not read out the list of 25 accusations for technical reasons.

Sources close to the case told Gulf News that the case will be referred to the Head of the Dubai Criminal Court to refer it to another bench of judges.