Bank worker who stole Dh1.2 million from customer handed jail term

Employee remains on the run more than four years after carrying out crime

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A bank worker who stole Dh1.2 million from the account of a customer to pay off his debts was jailed for  five years.

The Egyptian employee, 42, stole a cheque from the victim, a British man, while serving him at the bank in Dubai in July 2015.

He forged the customer 's signature and deposited Dh1.2m with a travel agency that he owed Dh600,000.

The travel agency said it had given him  the remaining Dh600,000,  believing the money was his.

The man remains at large and was sentenced in his absence at the Dubai Criminal Court on Sunday.

When the victim received a bank notification that Dh1.2m had been  withdrawn, he contacted the bank employee who told him that the money had been withdrawn in error, before being swiftly returned to his account.

But when the same amount was withdrawn a second time – and not returned – he lodged a complaint with the bank, which launched an internal investigation.

"The client told us he only dealt with the defendant and, a few days before the incident, he said he had left his cheque book and mobile phone in the accused's office to use the restroom," a bank official said.

The bank employee's office was searched and a notebook was found that revealed his several attempts to successfully copy the customer's signature.

Police were informed but by that time, the defendant could not be found.

He was convicted on charges of stealing a cheque, forgery, illegally obtaining Dh1.2m and using forged documents.