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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Two men get five years for stealing Dh859k with forged documents

The two used the documents to buy a SIM card and then change the phone number attached to an Afghan businessman's bank account 

Two men who stole Dh859,000 from a businessman’s bank account using a bogus Power of Attorney letter have been sentenced to five years each in prison.

Dubai Criminal Court was told that the two Indian defendants, 33 and 30, forged a letter that said that the businessman, from Afghanistan, had given authorisation for the older defendent to buy a SIM card on his behalf.

The pair used a duplicated stamp attributed to Dubai Courts Notary Public to create the fake document.

The defendants then contacted the businessman’s bank and registered the new mobile number attached to the SIM as his official contact number.

They used the number to gain access to his online and mobile banking services.

The older defendant also posed as the businessman to obtain a chequebook from the bank – sent to him via a courier company — which the pair used to withdraw money from the account.

The theft came to light when the Afghan businessman returned to the country and found that his bank balance was zero.

He then lodged a complaint at Al Muraqqabat Police Station.

Investigations revealed that the cheques cashed from different branches bore signatures analogous to the owner of the account.

Police tracked down the address provided to them by the courier company who delivered the chequebook and arrested the 33-year-old defendant, while his co-accused had fled the country.

He denied forgery during questioning, saying that his at-large accomplice had handed him the documents and asked him to pick up the SIM card in return for Dh10,000.

In court, he denied multiple counts of forgery, the use of forged documents and unlawfully obtaining Dh859,000.

“He gave me the Power of Attorney letter and sent me to get the card, then gave me a cheque. I cashed it and handed the money to him,” said the accused in court.

He and his accomplice (in absentia) were convicted and sentenced to five years in prison each, to be followed by deportation. They were fined Dh150,000 each.

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