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Dubai: A local bank was told to pay Dh4.9 million to a customer after fraud was concluded to have been done by an employee who used a man to impersonate the customer and withdraw the money.

Dubai Commercial Court was told that the customer, from Saudi Arabia, opened the bank account in 2015 and deposited Dh4.9 million for property investment. He parked the money in his account but was shocked when he returned two years later to finf that the balance was zero.

According to official records, the victim lodged a complaint and investigation blamed the customer service employee for the disapperance of the money.

The Arabic employee, copied the ID of the customer and went to the bank’s branch manager claiming that the defendant wanted to close his account and withdraw the money as he no longer stayed in the UAE.

The employee brought an African man, who looked like the bank customer, to the bank. The impersonator wore the national dress of the victim and sunglasses to con the teller and withdraw the money.

An official in the bank testified that there was a dispute between the bank employee and the teller because the latter wanted to check the original ID of the customer.

“The employee provided the teller with a copy of the ID and told him that he did not need to see the original ID, because he had already vetted the original. The employee signed on the copy of the ID to withdraw the money,” the official said in records.

The employee and the African defendants were arrested and sentenced to three years in jail to be followed by deportation by Dubai Court of First Instance. They were charged with fraud.

However, the victim’s lawyer, Mohammad Al Mansouri, said his client lodged a civil case to get his rights from the bank and the defendants.

“The bank employee was convicted as he took advantage of his position and helped steal the money. If he wasn’t working with the bank, he couldn’t have committed the crime. The bank should pay money to the customer as it was responsible for the money,” lawyer Al Mansouri said.

The bank said in an official document to the court that it was not responsible to compensate the client as investigation showed it was the employee’s fault and responsibility and that the employee had been convicted by the criminal court.

However, Dubai Commercial Court rejected the bank’s plea and ordered it and the two defendants to pay Dh4.9 million and 12 per cent interest to the victim.