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Dubai: An employee with a local telecommunications firm was sentenced to three years in jail followed by deportation for stealing Dh14.7 million from mobile phone recharge cards and using that money to buy a Bentley, Range Rover and a Rolex watch. The Dubai Court of First Instance additionally issued a Dh14.7 million fine against the defendant.

The 41-year-old Omani defendant used to collect damaged scratchcards from customers and give them a replacement at the company’s branch in Deira. His company suddenly realised that the defendant, who was on a Dh17,196 monthly salary, had suddenly become rich and was driving expensive cars with special number plates.

“He used to collect the damaged recharge cards from customers and replace them with new cards,” said an official from the telecom firm. “His duty was to enter the card numbers in the system to cancel the credit in the card, before destroying them. However, we noticed that he had ordered a huge number of cards for replacement — much more than any of the other branches,” the official added.

Between 2015 and 2018, he had illegally obtained Dh14.7 million.

The company investigated the matter and discovered that he never deleted the data from the damaged recharge cards from the system. When the company checked with him later, he claimed that he made the cancellation requests and put the cards in boxes, but those boxes were nonexistent. “He had no proof that he had cancelled those cards. Apart from his salary, he had no other income, but was driving around in a Range Rover, a Bentley and was also wearing a Dh100,000 Rolex watch,” the official said.

Dubai Public Prosecution said that the defendant had bought six special number plates for a large sum of money.