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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Banker who leaked account details for thousands of clients is jailed

The victim had a total of Dh1.1m stolen from him by the defendants

A banker who took a bribe to leak the details of 2,500 accounts will spend 10 years in jail.

Dubai criminal court was told that the 28-year-old Indian banker accepted a bribe of Dh55,000 from her compatriot to give him account details for clients living abroad and with a balance of more than Dh500,000.

She was convicted of abusing her position, accepting a bribe, divulging confidential information and with aiding and abetting.

The 35-year-old compatriot and three other men, also from India, were each sentenced to 10 years in prison. Four of the defendants were fined Dh150,000 each while the fifth was fined Dh55,000.

Prosecutors said that the four men checked the information they got from the banker then chose an account belonging to someone who had been out of the country for a long time.

They forged several documents, including a power of attorney attributed to the bank account holder, and submitted them to Etisalat to obtain a Sim card in his name. They were then sent the online banking password on that number, which they used to make seven transfers totalling Dh1.1m from the victim’s account.

All four were found guilty of offering bribes, forgery, use of forged documents, embezzlement and adding and abetting.

The Indian victim had been on a visit to his home country and had deactivated his UAE telephone for the duration of his trip.

Upon his return to the UAE a month later, in January 2016, the 61-year-old businessman was told that two cheques he had issued had bounced.

“When I visited my bank to inquire, they told me my account had been frozen after they discovered embezzlements from it,” said the man.

One of the transfers made from his account was to another account with the same bank. Investigations into that transfer led police to one of the defendants who in turn tipped them off about his accomplices.

“I also visited Etisalat and was told that I applied for a replacement number, which I told them was not true,” he said.

All five will be deported after serving their prison terms but the sentence can be appealed within two weeks.