Dubai computer programmer ‘stole £500,000 from UK client’

Greek IT expert is accused of created a software programme and manipulating it so that sums of money would be automatically transferred into one of his three accounts.

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DUBAI // A 43-year-old computer programmer stole half a million British pounds from a company providing financial transfer services, Dubai Criminal Court heard on Tuesday.

C T, from Greece, is charged with theft and forgery of electronic documents.

Prosecutors said that on August 20 and before then he had been manipulating the amounts deposited into the account of a company based in Oxford, UK, making fake deposits and depositing the same amount several times, in an attempt to hide his theft of Dh2.7 million.

Pakistani S H, 61, testified that he hired the defendant last year to join his Dubai company, which is active in developing computer programs.

“We signed a contract with a company called LA, which is located in the UK, in order to build them a program for financial transferring services,” said the Pakistani.

“I assigned the job to one of our programmers but he resigned before completing the program, then I assigned the task to C T.”

When finished, S H said it was handed to the client in Oxford but a link to it was kept with him for back-up and technical support.

In July, the client complained to S H’s company stating that amounts of money had been transferred through the program to a number of bank accounts that they did not know of.

“When I asked C T about this issue, he said he created the accounts and made the transfers as a trial but the client said that actual amounts of up to half a million pounds were transferred to these accounts,” said S H, adding that the defendant claimed a virus may have caused the transfers.

SH’s company then sought the help of Leo IT Solutions and a second IT expert from Canada. Both examined the program and confirmed that it had been manipulated and the transfers were made intentionally.

“I confronted C T with the findings and he confessed in the presence of two men that he made the transfers and admitted it was wrong, then he submitted a written confession,” said SH, who reported the matter to police.

Records show that the defendant created three bank accounts to which he transferred the money.

Prosecutors attached a copy of the defendant’s confession to the case file.

“I didn’t steal nor did I amend the program,” the defendant said in court on Tuesday.

His lawyer requested bail but the court rejected the request and rescheduled the hearing to December 22.