x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Bank officials among five held in card fraud

Five South Asian men have been accused of using fraudulently obtained credit cards to withdraw more than Dh2 million from a local branch of a foreign bank.

Five South Asian men, including two senior bank officials, were accused of using fraudulently obtained credit cards to withdraw more than Dh2 million (US$545,000) from a local branch of a foreign bank, police said yesterday. Police received a tip about the fraud last month. In less than a week, they had the five men in custody and recovered nearly 100 credit cards and more than Dh60,000 in cash. Police said the scheme had lasted six months.

Detectives were told on Oct 30 that a Pakistani man had used false documents to obtain credit cards from the bank branch. The investigation led to SH, who was allegedly carrying four credit cards and Dh21,540 in cash when he was arrested. A search of his home discovered 95 credit cards, five chequebooks, nine mobile phones, a fake South African passport and identity card, some forged labour cards, nine commercial stamps and Dh39,000 in cash, police said.

SH implicated two men identified by police as MA from Pakistan and MI from India, who he said also had obtained credit cards by using forged documents. According to the CID, MA used a computer to forge salary certificates and other documents required by banks for issuing credit cards. He and the other two suspects then allegedly went to officers at a local branch of a foreign bank, identified as VL and JS, who approved the credit card applications knowing that they were fraudulent.

Upon receiving the cards, SH, MA and MI allegedly withdrew the maximum cash advance permitted for each card and paid the bankers 15 per cent for approving the applications. Dubai CID also learnt that one of the bankers, VL, allegedly stole Dh225,000 from the gang and left the country, and that one of the suspects was wanted in six police districts and by the immigration and passports department for absconding from his employer.

All members of the gang were arrested by Nov 4, including VL, who was detained when he returned to the UAE from abroad. ealghalib@thenational.ae