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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Sentence reduced for bankers in Dh25m embezzlement case

Two senior managers who embezzled money from an investor using forged documents will now serve five years in jail instead of seven

Two senior managers at a multinational bank sentenced to seven years in jail each for stealing Dh25 million from corporate accounts have had their sentences reduced by Dubai Court of Appeal.

A Lebanese woman, 33, and an American, 43, will now serve five years in jail each to be followed by deportation for embezzlement, forgery and the use of forged documents.

The court was told that between October 2012 and March 2013, the pair, aided by a Pakistani driver, 34, used forged documents to steal money from a 57-year-old Iranian investor.

The driver, who remains at large, will serve a seven-year jail term. He was sentenced in his absence.

Ten other defendants, seven from India, two from Pakistan and one from Lebanon were convicted of aiding and abetting the two managers. Two were originally sentenced to seven years to be followed by deportation by the Dubai Criminal Court, while the remaining eight were jailed for six months each.

The Dubai Court of Appeal overturned the sentence against the ten defendants and handed them a three-month jail term each, then ordered the cancellation of the deportation order.

A services manager at the bank handling the Iranian’s accounts provided his accounts details to two of the defendants, who used the information to forge documents and transfer money into a separate account.

The investor said: “I established five new companies in Dubai and opened bank accounts for them. I then deposited around Dh36.5 million. In March 2013, Dubai International Financial Centre requested bank statements for these accounts … I discovered Dh25 million had gone missing from my accounts.”

The man reported the incident to police and later investigations revealed the involvement of all 13 defendants.

The Lebanese and American managers denied charges against them at both the criminal and appeal courts.