Bank staff in Dubai changes customer’s phone number, steals Dh500,000

A bank employee has been charged at a Dubai court for allegedly stealing $140,000 (Dh514,220) from a customer’s account.

The Court of First Instance heard how the 35-year-old Egyptian employee tricked the customer, a Tunisian, into signing a transfer form. Then, he reportedly used his position to change the complainant’s mobile number linked with the bank’s services.

He cited the name of an accomplice, also an Egyptian expat, as a beneficiary on the transfer form. The latter has been charged in absentia. They were accused of embezzlement, forgery and use of forged documents, and possession of stolen money.

The case dates back to September 5, 2018, and was reported at the Bur Dubai police station.

“On August 30, 2018, I transferred an amount of money at the bank branch in Al Quoz. The first defendant, who ran the transaction for me, called me later saying that I forgot to sign the form,” the complainant, 41, said during the public prosecution investigation.

“On September 2, 2018, I went to the bank and signed the form without reading it. On September 5, I got a message that my number registered at the bank was changed. And on the same day, I received a message that an amount of $140,000 was withdrawn from my account.”

The customer was later told by the bank that the amount was transferred to the account of the second defendant.

A Filipino teller, who served as a witness, said: “The first defendant requested that the customer’s number be changed. His signature (the defendant’s) was also on the form through which the amount was transferred from the complainant’s account.”

The witness told the investigator that the first accused worked in the customer service section.

“His duties included attending to requests of transferring and depositing money into customers’ accounts. He also had the power to change the customers’ personal details in their files. He would then refer the requests to the right section at the bank.”

A letter from the bank confirmed that the transfer was made from the complainant’s account to that of the second accused.

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