x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Etisalat manager accused of embezzling millions

An Etisalat payroll manager is accused of embezzling Dh27m from the company.

DUBAI // An Etisalat payroll manager has been accused of embezzling Dh27m (US$7.4m) from the company over more than two years. The telecommunications firm yesterday confirmed it was investigating the case and Dubai Police said they were awaiting the results of that internal inquiry before making arrests. It was not known whether more than one person was thought to be involved.

The woman, identified only as FM, was in charge of the payroll at one of Etisalat's branches and is believed by the company to have orchestrated the transfer of money to several local bank accounts. Etisalat and the police were alerted to the transfers by the banks, who noticed that, besides her salary, large amounts of money were being deposited. On occasions the amounts were more than Dh2m, although in other instances only a few thousand dirhams were being moved into accounts.

An Etisalat spokesman, Ahmed bin Ali, said all the money had been recovered. The woman was removed from her position and interviewed by a committee of senior Etisalat managers, who will give their findings to police. Dubai Police said they would not comment officially because there were no criminal proceedings in the case. However, one officer said they were alerted when banks began noticing large amounts. "Once they were at Dh2m, then the banks uncovered the problem. There were discrepancies before, but that amount being deposited without reason cannot be ignored."

Etisalat would not expand on the case yesterday. Police sources last night confirmed the woman is a UAE national. nsamaha@thenational.ae ozaafrani@thenational.ae