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A man holding a smartphone. For illustrative purposes only Image Credit: Agency

Dubai: Three men are on trial accused of transferring Dh2.8 million from a man’s account through a Sim swap fraud, a Dubai court heard on Tuesday.

A 29-year-old Indian salesman forged multiple documents and an Emirates ID before requesting a telecoms company to change ownership of a Sim from the victim’s name to a company owned by a 51-year-old Bangladeshi defendant.

According to court records, after obtaining the victim’s Sim, the defendant gained access to the victim’s bank account and transferred money to a private company owned by the Bangladeshi defendant.

In July of last year, the Canadian victim, who is not a UAE resident, discovered the crime after his phone number had been disconnected.

He called his American friend who stays in the UAE to file a case with police on his behalf.

“My friend has a bank account in the UAE. He is not living in the country, and in 2015 he asked me to get a local phone number to have access on his online banking,” said the friend. “He called me later after the phone number was blocked and I went to the telecommunication company and discovered that someone transferred the number’s ownership to a company. The defendant used forged documents to get a new Sim card to transfer the money. He used a fake Emirates ID with a different signature,” added the friend.

The Indian defendant had set a new password on the Sim and applied for online transfers of Dh200,000 every day until the amount reached Dh2.8 million.

He then transferred the money to the account of the company owned by the Bangladeshi defendant.

The pair then withdrew Dh1.6 million from the company’s account and gave it to a third defendant, a 45-year-old from India.

The 45-year-old denied a charge of aiding a crime and possessing stolen cash, while the other two defendants remain at large and are charged with forgery, fraud and fraudulently obtaining money.

The trial is adjourned until July 7.