Seventeen men accused of stealing more than Dh20m from bank clients

Public relations manager and six other employees at Dubai Islamic Bank alleged to have leaked clients' details

Pedestrians pass a Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC bank branch in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. Abu Dhabi is engineering a second bank merger in its latest attempt to stay competitive in the era of lower oil prices. Photographer: Christopher Pike/Bloomberg
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Seventeen men are on trial accused of stealing more than Dh20 million from a local bank through fake transfers.

Dubai Criminal Court heard that a public relations manager and six other employees at Dubai Islamic Bank leaked the details of their clients to the other defendants.

The others, all Indians aged between 24 and 43 and all still at large, are accused of using the information to create fake copies of Emirates ID cards to apply for fund transfers.

Transfers from 12 bank accounts were successful and funds of more than Dh20m were deposited into the accounts of two companies run by two of the Indian accused.

Money was then withdrawn and split among the culprits, prosecutors said. The incidents happened between April and October 2016.

The defendants who worked at the bank – two Indians, two Emiratis, two Pakistanis and a Jordanian – were charged with divulging confidential information, using forged documents, forging electronic documents and aiding and causing financial damage.


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Six of them were present in court and denied all charges.

The defendants at large were all charged in their absence with fraudulently obtaining money that belonged to others, forgery, use of forged documents and aiding and abetting.

The incidents came to light after one of the bank’s clients asked about a transfer made from his account that he did not authorise.

“We provided the client with a copy of the transfer application and when he saw it, he informed us that his signature had been forged and that on the date of the application he was out of the country,” the deputy head of operations at the bank said.

He said that the bank began auditing applications and discovered another 10 that had been processed in the same way.

The next hearing is scheduled for January 17.