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Illustrative image. Image Credit: iStockphoto

Dubai: A manager has been sentenced to five years in jail for transferring Dh17.5 million from a businessman’s account in an online banking fraud, a Dubai court heard on Monday.

The 46-year-old Jordanian defendant, was said to have betrayed the trust of a 58-year-old fellow Jordanian, after working as his office manager on a monthly salary of Dh35,333 for 14 years.

A second defendant, an Indian who works in a local bank, was also accused but later acquitted of helping the Jordanian defendant commit fraud by forging multiple documents and using them to apply for an internet banking service for a client without his knowledge.

The first defendant had access to the victim’s documents because he worked as his office manager. He was accused of forging the victim’s signature on an application for internet banking services and added his own mobile number and email, passing it to the Indian defendant to process.

After gaining access to the account, the Jordanian defendant made 55 online transfers worth Dh17.5 million in 2015.

The victim only discovered the fraud in 2019 when the defendant was questioned by the businessman for embezzling Dh40,000.

“The defendant worked with me since 2004,” said the victim. “I trusted him with all my assets and business. I discovered later that he embezzled my money in cooperation with the banker who handled my account in the bank.”

The Indian defendant’s responsibilities included contacting the account holder when any irregularities occurred, but instead he facilitated the fraud and covered it up, alleged the businessman.

An official from the bank said the money was illegally obtained through online transfers made over a span of 20 months from the victim’s account to the account of the Jordanian defendant.

“The victim is a senior client for the bank and the Indian defendant used to handle his account. In 2015, we had an offer on deposits and the Jordanian defendant claimed that the victim had agreed to it and that he would prepare the documents,” said a bank official.

It was questioned why the victim hadn’t checked his bank account for more than four years.

The two defendants were both charged with forgery, use of forged documents and illegally obtaining Dh17.5 million.

The Jordanian defendant will be deported after serving his jail term. The Indian defendant was acquitted.