Man arrested for selling fake UAE phone numbers worth tens of thousands of dirhams



A man who cheated his victims of tens of thousands of dirhams by selling them non-existent "unique" phone numbers has been arrested by Abu Dhabi Police, the Interior Ministy said on Monday.

Posing under different names, the 27-year-old Arab man sent spam text messages to potential buyers advertising special phone numbers that were easy to remember.

The numbers usually contained a series of identical or consecutive digits, said Col Ojeil Al Junaibi, chief of Al Gharbia Police.

The suspect convinced his victims that he could register those numbers under their names at preferential rates, the official said.

He told them that as soon as they made the payments - which amounted to thousands of dirhams each time - he would have his representative order the issuance of a new SIM card and have it re-registered under their names.

The victims often paid him by cash remittance after ascertaining that the numbers exist.

In one instance, he met in person with the victim who handed him Dh40,000.

According to Col Al Junaibi, what helped the suspect get away with his fraudulent acts for so long was the fact that the victims, especially those who did not lose large sums of money, were unwilling to report him out of shame.

Police are still questioning the suspect to determine where he has hidden the money that he took from his victims.

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Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

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2000: Israel withdraws from Lebanon after nearly 30 years without an officially demarcated border. The UN establishes the Blue Line to act as the frontier.

2007: Lebanon and Cyprus define their respective exclusive economic zones to facilitate oil and gas exploration. Israel uses this to define its EEZ with Cyprus

2011: Lebanon disputes Israeli-proposed line and submits documents to UN showing different EEZ. Cyprus offers to mediate without much progress.

2018: Lebanon signs first offshore oil and gas licencing deal with consortium of France’s Total, Italy’s Eni and Russia’s Novatek.

2018-2019: US seeks to mediate between Israel and Lebanon to prevent clashes over oil and gas resources.

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The Sinopharm vaccine was created using techniques that have been around for decades. 

“This is an inactivated vaccine. Simply what it means is that the virus is taken, cultured and inactivated," said Dr Nawal Al Kaabi, chair of the UAE's National Covid-19 Clinical Management Committee.

"What is left is a skeleton of the virus so it looks like a virus, but it is not live."

This is then injected into the body.

"The body will recognise it and form antibodies but because it is inactive, we will need more than one dose. The body will not develop immunity with one dose," she said.

"You have to be exposed more than one time to what we call the antigen."

The vaccine should offer protection for at least months, but no one knows how long beyond that.

Dr Al Kaabi said early vaccine volunteers in China were given shots last spring and still have antibodies today.

“Since it is inactivated, it will not last forever," she said.

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In the box: Nothing Phone (2), USB-C-to-USB-C cable

Price (UAE): Dh2,499 (12GB/256GB) / Dh2,799 (12GB/512GB)

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Investment stage: Series A
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