Investor loses Dhs446,000 in ghost Dhs44m deal in Dubai - GulfToday

Investor loses Dhs446,000 in ghost Dhs44m deal in Dubai


Hamza M Sengendo, Staff Reporter

Fraudsters hoodwinked an investor into paying Dhs446,000 alleged clearance fees to obtain $12 million (Dhs44,040,000) facilities, a jury heard on Monday.

The African manager, 44, and a fugitive accomplice forged letters attributed to a federal customs body, a central bank and a financial authority. They emailed them to the Panamanian victim, 67, to cement their claims.

They deceived him there were $12m facilities to be paid back over a period of 25 years by returning 4 per cent annually. And that for him to avail of the facilities he had to pay $121,450 (Dhs446,000) worth fees.

They claimed the fees were demanded by the federal customs body, the bank and the financial authority. He deposited money in various accounts mentioned in the emails attributed to the three mentioned entities.

In the same case, prosecutors sued his countryman, 54, of using someone else’s Emirates ID in a bid to withdraw some of the cash and an African maid, 33, for cashing a Dhs180,000 cheque. She handed the sum to him.

During Criminal Court questioning, the manager denied all charges and argued that he did not even know the victim nor had any connection with the case. The countryman and woman will be questioned on Oct.7.

On the record, the investor’s friend received an email from a ‘UAE investment group’ offering $12m facilities to be returned in $480,000 annual instalments. The investor said he decided to grab the opportunity.

He came to the UAE and met a man (S) at a hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road. He signed an agreement and paid $8,700 worth documents processing and facilities delivery fees. S promised to wire the facilities to him in Panama.

Two weeks later, S asked him to send $26, 500 as fees to be taken to the central bank to clear the $12m delivery. He wired the sum to a local bank account.  S later said the central bank wanted a tax worth $60, 000.

S attached a letter attributed to the bank. The investor also got another email allegedly from the bank. Shortly, a man claiming to be an officer from the bank’s tax department contacted him to pay the $60, 000. He wired it.

He later received an email containing a $12m money transfer document’s attachment and thought he was about to get the sum. Later, a securities institution bogus employee emailed him asking him to wire $54, 300 to finalise procedures.  He wired $27, 150 and came to the UAE. The institution notified him he was conned.

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