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An employee of a local bank arranged for an impersonator to withdraw Dh4.9m from a customer’s bank account. After the customer realised his account had been emptied, the incident was investigated and the bank instructed to repay the customer.

Victim returned from Saudi Arabia to find his account had been emptied

The victim, a man from Saudi Arabia, is said to have deposited Dh4.9m into the Dubai bank account back in 2015 for a future property investment. After two years of leaving the funds untouched (so he thought), the man returned to Dubai to access his money, only to find the account had been emptied.

Records show that the Saudi resident lodged a complaint, blaming a customer service employee for the theft of his money. According to reports, the employee made a copy of the man’s ID and advised his branch manager that the customer had requested to withdraw his funds and close the account.

Impersonator is recruited for the crime

The deceptive employee then arranged for an African accomplice who resembled the customer to visit the bank. In order to convince the bank teller that he was in fact the true account holder, the impersonator wore the national dress of the victim and concealed his eyes with sunglasses.

Ordinarily, a copy of the original ID would be required to withdraw cash, but the employee who set up the scam assured the teller that he had already verified the original ID and that it was not required again. He even signed the copy of the ID to proceed with the withdrawal.

Duo are arrested and sentenced

After the crime came to light, the employee and his sidekick were both arrested and sentenced by Dubai Court of First Instance. They were charged with fraud and given a 3 year jail term followed by deportation.

Despite this, the victim is pursuing a civil case against the bank itself due to the fact the crime was conducted by an official employee of the organisation. In an official document, the bank responded to say that it does not consider itself responsible or liable for any compensation towards the customer, based on the fraud being the fault of the employee and the employee being convicted.

Dubai Commercial Court rejected the bank’s response and has ordered that the money be repaid to the victim plus 12% interest.

Read about another scam that’s currently affecting residents of the UAE here.

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