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Tue 4 Feb 2020 08:13 AM

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Cybercriminals' attempts to steal $1bn foiled by Dubai Police

Gang of nine had stolen over $8.7m through online employment scam

Cybercriminals' attempts to steal $1bn foiled by Dubai Police

Dubai Police said the arrests prevented the gang from abusing 800,000 email addresses, which also foiled their bid to steal AED 4 billion ($1bn).

Dubai Police busted a gang of African cybercriminals who were attempting to steal as much as AED4 billion ($1bn) through an online employment scam.

Dubbed 'Fox Hunt' the operation revealed a hidden online fraud network which deceived victims into transferring money in return of job opportunities.

The gang of nine used multiple bank accounts to make money transfers and deposits totalling more than AED32 million ($8.7m).

Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jalaf, director of the General Department of Criminal Investigation (CID) at Dubai Police, said they acted on a tip-off to the anti-cybercrime platform. The arrests prevented the gang from abusing 800,000 email addresses, which also foiled their bid to steal AED 4 billion ($1bn).

“Hours of continuous work and thorough investigations led to identifying the group of scammers who used social media to celebrate illegitimate wealth registered under the names of others. They were luring victims with fake employment opportunities,” he said.

“Victims received phishing emails that deceived them into transferring money to complete fake recruitment procedures. Our teams closely monitored the gang and put the details of their IDs, bank accounts, residence, and cars under the spotlight,” he added.

The con-artists were arrested at their residence in the UAE where the e-crime team at the General Department of Criminal Investigation at Dubai Police found laptops and mobile phones full of sensitive information on individuals and companies, including bank accounts and credit cards details, as well as documents and files confirming the illegal activities. 

Captain Abdullah Al Shehi, Deputy Director of E-investigations at Dubai Police, said the arrest foiled the gang's bid to drain out the balance of 1,126 credit cards with an estimated total value of AED64m ($17.4m).

He added that the gang had run its business through 81 fake companies across 18 countries around the world, disguised with a facade of wealth and false imagery.

Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, the Commander in Chief of Dubai Police, said: “As gangs constantly change their criminal methods, Dubai Police exert all efforts to qualify elites of officers and employees specialised in dealing with latest technologies to tackle emerging crimes.”

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