Dubai: Dubai Police are urging people to beware of money exchange scams after a European was robbed of Dh2.3 million.
Two suspects contacted the 44-year-old man through a third person and said that they had $700,000 that they wanted to exchange into dirhams at 10 per cent lower than the actual exchange rate.
The victim went with a friend to meet the suspects at night with the cash in a bag.
They had planned to meet in the office of the victim’s friend in Bur Dubai but the suspects said they didn’t want to bring the money up from their car, for fear of being robbed.
So they all went to another location in Oud Metha where the suspects beat the victim and his friend and robbed the money.
The victim didn’t report the incident until one month after the robbery because he didn’t want his country of origin to know about the money and tax him.
Dubai Police arrested the suspects and recovered the money but are now urging people not to exchange money from unauthorised places.
Brigadier Ahmad Thani Bin Gulaitha, director of Rafa’a police station, said: “The victim alerted Dubai Police after one month of the robbery. A gang lured him with an offer to exchange dollars with low rate, before taking him to a place, beating him up and fleeing with his money.
“They told him that they are businessmen and cannot exchange big amount of dollars in exchange offices. They wanted quick money and he agreed to exchange the money at his friend’s office in a business centre in Bur Dubai.
“They asked the victim to choose another safer place and the victim’s friend suggested to go to his place in Oud Metha. When they went, the suspects assaulted the victim and his friend before fleeing with the money and their mobile phones.”
The victim was afraid to alert authorities, because he didn’t want to disclose his assets and earnings to his home country fearing he would be taxed.
“He was worried that he might be punished by his country and have to pay tax,” added Bin Gulaitha. “He was also feeling embarrassed because he had borrowed the money from his relatives. However, after one month, his father found out about the robbery and encouraged him to alert Dubai Police. He said that his father had a big faith and trust in the local police force.”
The two men were arrested and referred to Dubai Public Prosecution.