Dubai Courts Image Credit: File picture

Dubai: A gang of six people were sentenced to five years in jail by Dubai Court of First Instance in connection with a SIM card swap scam resulting in the withdrawal of Dh6 million from a businesswoman’s bank account.

The gang members comprising five Indians and one Bangladeshi were fined Dh150,000 each and the judges ordered to deport them after they had served their jail time.

The businesswoman, whose nationality wasn’t disclosed in records, lost Dh6 million from her bank account while she was in a trip outside the country. Her mobile line had been fraudulently used in transactions for cash withdrawal and transfer.

One of the gang members had impersonated as the woman, forged her signature when applying for a SIM card replacement.

The defendants contacted the bank and answered all personal questions and obtained an ATM card issued against the victim’s account.

According to official records, the gang transferred a total of Dh6.2 million from her account to their accounts at other banks.

The victim filed a complaint at Al Refaa police station on May 20 last year and only three out of the six defendants had been detained.

However, all six defendants were charged with fraud, forgery, using forged documents and embezzlement.

A bank official testified that they were contacted by an employee at the counter-fraud section at another bank which alerted them about frequent transfers to some accounts at their branch from the accounts of the businesswoman.

“She has three bank accounts with us. We tried to reach her as she was outside the country. She was surprised when we told her about the transactions and she said that she did not do any such transactions. A female had impersonated as our customer to obtain a SIM card on her number which is linked with bank services, after applying for a SIM replacement,” an Emirati official said in official records.

A saleswoman at a local telecommunication company claimed that one of the defendants came to the outlet in Sharjah, applied for the SIM replacement as the phone number was registered under a company name.

“He showed me official documents that said he was manager of the company and wanted to get a SIM replacement. I made an electronic request for the replacement and he signed on it,” the 29-year-old Filipina saleswoman said in records.