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Major General Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police and Brigadier Omar Bualzoud ,Director General of criminal and investigation department during press conference in Sharjah on Thursday Image Credit: Aghaddir Ali/Gulf News

Sharjah: Sharjah Police have busted a gang involved in electronic financial crimes ripping residents of millions of dirhams.

Major General Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police revealed details of ‘Operation 173’ at a press conference on Thursday and said that two key members of the gang involved in electronic financial crime has been arrested. Out of the total five members of the gang, two Africans have been arrested, one African is at large in the UAE while two Asians are outside the country.

Police have recovered from him 173 counterfeit bank cards used for more than Dh3million cash withdrawls from ATMs.

Brigadier Omar Abu Al Zoud, Director General of Criminal and Investigation Department at Sharjah Police said that police have also recovered 132 chequebooks used in scams, 21 smartphones, 18 Emirates ID cards of expatriates targeted in fraud, and six forged company stamps. Additionally, they reported fraudulent withdrawals Dh3,011,854 from 11 unidentified accounts.

Police also found Dh95,320 cash during the raid.

Operation 173

Brigadier General Omar Ahmed Abu Al Zoud, Director of the Criminal and Investigations Department, revealed that a report was received from an Arab individual working in a licensed company in the country. The expat had received an email from a supposed supplier requesting a bank data update. After complying with the request, he discovered he had been defrauded and had transferred Dh85,713.52 to a fictitious company's bank account.

A team of cybercrime experts was formed to verify the fraud and apprehend the perpetrators before they could dispose of the funds. Through a technical audit, it was found that the email was fake, with the perpetrators altering one letter in the address to deceive the victims. Further technical follow-up revealed that the fraud was orchestrated from outside the country but managed within the country.


The investigation traced the movement of the money and identified an individual who had withdrawn Dh20,000. The African expat was arrested at his home along with others living with him after investigations confirmed their involvement. The group was found to be part of a network specialised in electronic fraud.

Brigadier General Al Zoud explained that the investigation revealed that the perpetrators had deliberately purchased 173 accounts from their original owners after they left the country. These accounts, along with their bank cards, were managed by the electronic criminal network, which transferred money from one account to another to mislead police authorities.

Banking movements

Technical specialists from Sharjah Police monitored all banking movements in cooperation with the competent authorities in the country and determined the criminal method used. Further investigations into the victims' accounts showed that their personal data had been used for electronic fraud and theft of their bank cards. Reports indicated fraudulent withdrawals totaling Dh3,011,854 from 11 unidentified accounts.