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Sat 23 Jan 2010 11:23 PM

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UAE holds seven in $10bn bank scam

Three Europeans and four Asians arrested after false documents submitted to UAE central bank.

Abu Dhabi police have arrested seven men for plotting to defraud the UAE central bank of $10.17 billion using false documents, the state news agency WAM said on Saturday.

It said the suspects, three Europeans and four Asians, had presented forged documents from a commercial bank in Europe purporting that the central bank of the UAE owed the funds representing the family investments of the gang's leader.

"The documents presented by the suspects were fake and meant for attempted fraud targeting the central bank," WAM quoted Colonel Hammad al-Hammadi, director of the police's Criminal Investigation Department, as saying.

The suspects also had a power of attorney from their leader authorising the withdrawals, the agency said.

The arrest were made in coordination with the central bank's anti money laundering unit, he said, adding that the suspects had denied the charges of forging documents and attempted fraud.

Five of those held had arrived in the UAE, the Gulf's trade and business centre, on visitor visas while the two others lived in the country, Hammadi told WAM.

WAM did not give the nationalities of the suspects, nor clarify whether any funds were actually withdrawn. (Reuters)

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