x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Dubai Islamic Bank chief tells court how men 'stole' Dh1.8bn

The chief executive of Dubai Islamic Bank, Abdullah al Hamli, told the court he is not certain how much the five men embezzled.

DUBAI // The chief executive of Dubai Islamic Bank yesterday testified in court against five men charged with Dh1.8 billion worth of fraud.

Abdullah al Hamli told Judge Fahmy Mounir Fahmy of the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance how the men allegedly proceeded with major bogus deals.

Mr al Hamli testified he was not certain how much money the men embezzled in their deals.

"Its only logical that when something suspicious is discovered about any application, it would be terminated," he told the court.

"The regular approval procedure for deals is to submit the application to the securities department at the bank, which would have certainly rejected it. But since one of the suspects [worked] at the securities department, he helped get approval for these deals."

In the largest of the ongoing Dubai administrative fraud trials, three Britons, two Pakistanis, a Turk and an American have been charged with stealing public funds, deliberately helping others to steal public funds, inflicting intentional loss to the Government and its interests, illegal profiteering and forgery.

The British suspects CM, 48, RL, 54, and AF, 58, have been on trial for two years. Former DIB Pakistani executives OM, 39 and RU, 50, were earlier charged with embezzlement of funds, aiding and abetting a crime, and bribery.

Two other defendants, 36-year-old Turk EN and an American, ZU, remain at large.

Judge Fahmy said yesterday bail requests would not be allowed for the time being. "I would like to alert the defendants that the court is not prepared to listen to any bail requests until witness testimonies are complete," he said.

The case was presented to the court for a second time in October last year after the court in August ordered public prosecutors to reinvestigate. The new charges, although similar to the previous ones, have been issued as crimes against public wealth and crimes that damage the interest of a government institution.

The court will reconvene on January 19.

amustafa@thenational.ae