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Photo for illustrative purposes Image Credit: Pixabay

Dubai: A customer service employee with a UAE-based bank has been sentenced to five years in jail, to be followed by deportation, for stealing Dh1.2 million from a customer’s account, the Dubai Court of First Instance heard.

The 42-year-old Egyptian defendant, who is still at large, stole a cheque from the British customer while he was serving him at the bank. He forged his signature to deposit the amount for the benefit of a tourism company.

According to official records, in July 2015, the British victim was notified about a withdrawal of Dh1.2 million from his account. He contacted the defendant who told him that it was a mistake by the bank and that the money will be returned to his account.

After a couple of days, the victim noticed that the money had not been returned to his account and alerted his bank.

“The transfer was done based on the cheque from the victim. During the investigation, the victim said that he used to deal with the defendant and sometimes he would leave the cheque book and his mobile phone at the defendant’s office when he would go to the bathroom. It might be the case that the defendant stole the cheque and used it,” said a 41-year-old Sudanese official with the bank.

A notebook was found at the defendant’s office with signatures similar to that of the victim and the Sudanese official claimed that it indicated attempts by the defendant to copy the victim’s signature.

The tourism company proved that they had business dealings with the defendant as he was providing them with low-cost travel tickets through his friends in Dnata, in order to sell them to their customers.

“The tourism company said tickets worth D600,000 were cancelled by the provider and the defendant deposited the cheque in their account to repay them their money. They took the money and gave the defendant Dh400,000 and transferred Dh200,000 to a commercial company based on his request.”

However, the defendant left the country shortly after the scam.

The defendant was charged with stealing a cheque, illegally obtaining Dh1.2 million, forgery and using forged documents.