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Man stole millions from Afghan's account after posing as him to access his mobile banking

DUBAI // A Pakistani man is accused of transferring millions of dirhams from a man’s account after posing as him to access his mobile banking.

Dubai Criminal Court heard that the 22-year-old accused pretended to be the Afghan man when he went to du to request a replacement SIM card with his old phone number after claiming that he had lost his.

After getting a SIM with the Afghan’s number, the defendant allegedly also obtained his bank account information and contacted the bank from the victim’s number, making the bank think it was actually the Afghan.

The accused allegedly asked them to reset his online banking password before doing transfers amounting to Dh6.5 million from the Afghan’s account.

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“I was in my home country but I had checked my bank account through mobile banking before I left. When I tried to do so later while still back in my country, it didn’t work,” said the 34-year-old Afghan.

He called his bank in Dubai from his Afghanistan number and was surprised to know that his account was active and several transfers had been made from it.

The incident happened in September 2014 and, when the man found out, he flew back to Dubai and visited his bank, which froze his account upon hearing of his complaint.

“He had obtained my personal information somehow and answered all the identification and security questions by the bank when he called them to activate the card,” said the Afghan, who lodged a complaint at Al Muraqqabat police station.

It is not clear why the case was not referred to court before now.

The defendant denied charges of forgery, use of forged documents and fraudulently obtaining millions.

Prosecutors said he was aided by others who remain unidentified.

A verdict is expected on March 13.

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The National