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Mon 20 Jul 2009 01:41 AM

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Abu Dhabi police foil $42bn bank robbery

Swindlers attempt to extort money from UAE Central Bank using forged documents and bogus claims.

An extraordinary bank robbery came to light on Sunday when Abu Dhabi police revealed attempts to swindle AED153.9billion ($42 billion) from the UAE Central Bank.

Director of Criminal Investigation Department at Abu Dhabi Police, Brigadier Maktoum Al Sharifi, described how two attempts were made to withdraw colossal sums of money from the Central Bank using forged documents and bizarre cover stories.

In the first incident three suspects, including the branch manager of a bank in the UAE, produced forged documents that they claimed proved that the UAE Central Bank owed a total amount of AED52.7bn ($14.4bn) to their 'Leader', who hails from a neighbouring country.

In a second attempt, which took place 39 days later, two other suspects, a tourist and a resident investor, appeared with a new set of forged documents demanding to withdraw AED101.2bn ($27.5bn). They again claimed the UAE Central Bank owed to the money to their 'Leader' who had inherited the wealth from his grandparents.

The Police were called and the suspects were arrested, said Brigadier Al Sharifi.

Though the two incidents took place a few weeks apart, the primary investigation suggested that both attempts were masterminded by the same sixth person, named as A.F.K by official UAE news agency WAM.

A.F.K. is said to live in an unnamed neighbouring country, according to WAM.

Chief of the Organised Crimes combating section at the Abu Dhabi Police, Lieutenant Colonel Rashid Mohammed Bu Rashid, revealed that the Police arrested the suspects after the Central Bank forwarded the documents, which the police found were forged.

No further details were given.

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Luqman Amer Muhammad Khan 10 years ago

Congratulations Abu Dhabi Police Dept. This a a Huge Achievement & I appreciate the Efforts, Well Done!!

Ron Saldanha 10 years ago

let me get this straight, the info you guys are providing is some guys somewhere tried to steal money from the UAE central bank. Either you guys have not much to cover in UAE at the moment since i see the same real estate reads popping up over and over and over and over again! and now this..

Christian 10 years ago

Can somebody explain to me that sometimes people are noted by full name and sometimes even picture in case of any wrong doing and sometimes you see only the initials?

Neale 10 years ago

Why such a colossal sum? This is the net worth of Bill Gates! Did they not think that such a sum would attract a great deal of scrutiny? I'm not sure that this plan was "masterminded" at all, whoever though up the plan must have been blinded my greed.

Basel A-Shaban 10 years ago

Hats off to Abu Dhabi CID and Central Bank. I am glad to see some of these scam artists get arrested and thrown behind bars where they belong. Presenting forged documents claiming that they are owed $42b is definitely a stupid move. Did they think that UAE Central Bank will not investigate the authenticity of their claim? Or maybe, UAE Central Bank would just cough up the money right away? I wonder who was the mastermind behind this and how many poor bartered were lured to assist in pulling this scam. Lock them up and throw away the key, let that be an example for all criminal elements here and worldwide

vinod 10 years ago

This seems much more like a joke...someone trying to swindle 42bn. It would require no great sleuth to corner this mastermind, i can assure you.. Abu Dhabi police can be rightly commended for a lot of their actions....but this is surely not one of them...it is rather pathetic and naive that such publicity is given to a mastermind with an IQ less than a first grade student...i had initially thought there was a typo and it was millions rather than billions but this was front page headline news in Gulf News....summer madness afflicts us all, including journos who give this serious reporting !

Farzana 10 years ago

Congratulations to Abu Dhabi Police Department .!!!!!!!!!!!!

Harry 10 years ago

This can't be considered robbery since the perpetrators were not successful. It does show "Greed brings together strange bedfellows" Congratulations to the police in nabbing these criminals.

Mamdooh Al-Radadi 10 years ago

Vinod said it all. I personally think think this was a summer hit for the newspapers, nothing wow....when you work in any kind of Bank you get exposed to small time crooks and Big time dreamers...The Abu Dhabi central Bank is not a corner mom & pop bank that uses second hand burglar equipment to get a hit like that.... summer madness and high humidity written on the back of a yacht while fishing.

Mart 10 years ago

What a quite excellent bit of work over and above the call of duty! Firstly credit to the bank workers for checking the authenticity of the documents before handing over $42bn. I'd always assumed banks just handed over anything under a trillion dollars without checking - I'm relieved to see this isn't the case. So good job guys! Next, congratulations to Abu Dhabi's finest for hunting down these criminals (well turning up to the bank and arresting them as they waited). I feel safer knowing that these fiendish criminal masterminds are off the streets.