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Abu Dhabi: A gang of nine members has been referred to court for money-laundering using funds they collected from theft and fraud.

The gang members have been referred by the Public Prosecution after they were found guilty of fraudulently managing accounts via online banking apps.

“Following thorough investigations conducted by Sharjah Public Prosecution, it was found that a gang of nine suspects were targeting workers,” the Public Prosecution said in a statement issued today.

They used to subscribe to SIM cards, open bank accounts and obtain ATM cards under workers’ names.

How the gang operated

The gang was running and managing these accounts through online banking apps available on smartphones and were defrauding victims by calling them and pretending to be bank employees who want to update their data or give them a financial prize.

After they obtained the necessary information to access the victims’ accounts, they transferred money to other bank accounts they had opened for this purpose, then withdraw cash and deposit it in other accounts belonging to them to send it later outside the country. Investigations also revealed that they had forged some bank seals as well.

Public advised

The Public Prosecution stressed that necessary legal action has been taken against the culprits and they were referred to the competent court. The Public Prosecution urged the public to be cautious and not cooperate or respond to fraudsters via phone calls or by any means of communication, and to inform the competent authorities immediately whenever they receive such calls.

What is the punishment?

The prosecution will ask the competent court to apply the maximum penalty against the accused, in accordance with the provisions of Federal Decree No. 20 of 2018 on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism, which stipulates imprisonment and a fine of no less than Dh300,000 and no more than Dh10 million shall be applied to perpetrators.