Middle East

United Arab Emirates

Anti-fraud training: New steps to curb financial gain

Employees from over 100 exchange houses in the UAE will be given training in an attempt to reduce financial crimes in the banking sector. This initiative follows an agreement between the Dubai Police and the UAE's Foreign Exchange and Remittance Group (FERG). The training is intended to raise awareness of financial fraud and will include specific cyber-crime training on how to deal with links, messages and scams. Dubai Police recorded over 811 cybercrime attacks relating to banks in the three years up to June 2019. The training will aim to ensure there is greater awareness about these crimes, with the aim of reducing them in future.

Dubai Police to look into multi-million dollar rice export scam

The Dubai public prosecutor has ordered the police to investigate a multi-million dollar rice export scam. 6,000 tonnes of rice shipped from India to Dubai in 250 containers disappeared in March and April 2019. Dubai police have now been asked to look into accusations of fraud against two companies and six men. This includes investigations into an exchange house which is suspected of deliberately delaying the transaction process to allow the rice to be moved before the cheques would be banked (the fraud was discovered when the payments bounced).

Ex-banker in Dubai jailed for forging cheque to steal Dh1.2m from customer's account

The Dubai Court of First Instance has sentenced a former bank customer service employee to five years in prison and ordered his deportation after finding him guilty of embezzling Dh1.2million (c. £250,000) from a British customer's account. The banker was convicted of a number of charges including voluntarily damaging the interests of a public entity to get a profit for himself, embezzlement from a workplace, fraud and forgery. The same employee was sentenced to 10-years imprisonment and deportation in another fraud case last July.

Travel Agent dupes 21 expats in UAE into buying fake plane tickets

21 expats in Sharjah were tricked into paying for plane tickets only to discover that no plane tickets had been booked for them. The individual accused of carrying out the scam, who worked for a travel agency, made the bookings but never remitted the customers' payments to his company so the bookings were automatically cancelled. The agent admitted to having carried out the fraud saying he needed the money to repay his debts of Dh100,000 (c. £22,000).

Court of First Instance hears Dh27 million land fraud case

The Dubai Court of First Instance heard a fraud case worth Dh27 million (c. £5.6 million) on Monday 30 September. The claim related to two plots of land on Palm Jumeirah which had been fraudulently sold by a group involving nine people from Azerbaijan, Germany, India, Kazakhstan, Russia, Syria, Turkey, and Turkmenistan. The majority of those on trial were charged with aiding and abetting, however, the Azerbaijani and Turkmenistani nationals are alleged to have taking a more prominent role. They are accused of using forged documents to convince an Indian investor that they owned the properties and to sell them to him for Dh27 million. They are also accused of impersonating the owner when meeting with the buyer and forged copies of passports.

Dubai bank assistant manager jailed for forging cheques worth more than Dh 600,000

An assistant bank manager working at a bank in Al Muraqqabat, Dubai has been jailed for one year and ordered to pay more than Dh1.6 million (c. £330,000) after he was caught embezzling a cheque worth Dh635,000 (c. £130,000), which he had addressed to his wife, and pocketing more than Dh260,000 (c. £50,000) in client fees. The worker is from Pakistan and has been told he will be deported after serving his jail term.

Office manager and banker accused of stealing Dh17 million as part of an internet banking fraud

A Jordanian office manager and an Indian banker have been accused in front of the Dubai Criminal Court of being involved in stealing Dh17 million (c. £3.5 million) from a businessman. The office manager is accused of forging several documents and the businessman's signature in order to set up an internet bank account in his name. He had worked with the businessman for 14 years and had been trusted with information about his financial affairs. He is alleged to have carried out 55 transactions over a period of 20 months. The bank manager was responsible for looking after the businessman's account and was required to flag any irregularities. Instead he is alleged to have facilitated the fraud and assisted with the cover-up. The fraud was discovered when the office manager was investigated for another embezzlement offence.

Chairman has referred a decision made by DFSA to the Financial Markets Tribunal for review

Dr Mubashir Sheikh, the former Senior Executive Officer and Chairman of MAS ClearSight Ltd (In Liquidation), has referred a decision made about him by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to the Financial Markets Tribunal (FMT). The DFSA had found that Dr Mubashir Sheikh had committed the following breaches: providing false, misleading or deceptive information to the DFSA; causing MAS ClearSight to breach the DFSA's prudential rules; and demonstrating a lack of integrity by acting dishonestly and deceptively. The decision will now be reviewed by the FMT.

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