x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Men deny credit fraud

Five Arab men deny committing credit card fraud as they go on trial in Dubai.

DUBAI // Five Arab men charged with committing credit card fraud pleaded not guilty before the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance yesterday. The defendants, MM, 35, an Egyptian; MD, 26, and FY, 24, both Syrians; as well as AT, 26, and TK, 28, both Tunisians, are charged with defrauding a bank of Dh32,000 (US$8,700). The amount was withdrawn using a credit card issued by the bank based on forged bank statements and passport copies provided by gang members.

The gang was caught in July through the vigilance of a bank employee. Examining MM's credit card application, the employee decided to call the company where MM, using a false name, had claimed to work. The company said no one by that name worked for them. The remaining documentation was also found to be fraudulent and the bank informed police. First to be arrested was FY, who was caught carrying seven credit cards. He told prosecutors that MM, MD and a third unidentified man, provided him with the forged documentation which he then presented to banks. He said he was paid a percentage of the total amount withdrawn on the credit cards.

FY led police to arrest MM, who was caught carrying 26 credit cards bearing a false name. He admitted to withdrawing Dh31,000 in cash using this method. MM also admitted to withdrawing even larger amounts from other banks in this way, but did not give a specific amount. MM in turn led police to the rest of the gang, who were staying at his residence. Upon searching the accused, officers found an additional 31 credit cards in their possession as well as a cheque for Dh10,000 and forged cheques with amounts of Dh15 million and Dh1 million printed on them.

The case has been adjourned until Dec 28 to allow the defence lawyers time to prepare. hbathish@thenational.ae