Twenty-eight men, who were convicted of attempting to steal Dh635 million from an Abu Dhabi bank through electronic transfer, have appealed their jail sentences handed down by the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance.
The men have challenged the verdict at Abu Dhabi Appeal Court denying the charges. In their appeal case, the men’s lawyers have argued that their clients were wrongly convicted.
Last month, the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance had awarded jail sentences of between seven and 15 years to the offenders, who belonged to Indian, Pakistani, American, Russian and Canadian nationalities, after they were found guilty of fraud and unlawful transfer of the bank’s funds using information technology channels.
The eight main defendants in the case were each sentenced 15 years in jail while 10 others were each given 10 years in prison.
The court also sentenced nine other men, who transferred the cash to their private bank accounts, to seven years each in jail.
The remaining five defendants were cleared of the charges.
The court also ordered that the men should return Dh9 million, which they managed to steal, to the bank. They were also fined Dh635 million, an amount equivalent to what they tried to steal.
They were also ordered to pay Dh21,000 as temporary civil compensation to the bank, in addition to paying the legal and court charges.
The men have, however, contested the ruling at Abu Dhabi Appeal Court.
Court documents stated that the Abu Dhabi Financial Prosecution in coordination with Abu Dhabi Police’s CID had managed to recover Dh625 million from the victims’ bank accounts within 24 hours after the fraud was committed.
The police had arrested the defendants in June 2017 after a local bank reported about an unusual withdrawal of huge amounts of money from its account.
One of the defendants, a bank employee, accessed the bank’s electronic system using the password of another employee, and transferred the cash totalling to Dh635 million to accounts of five companies in five different banks.
The Financial Public Prosecution had issued an order to freeze the bank accounts where the cash was transferred in addition to the seizure of 6,000 mobile phones worth about Dh10 million that were purchased by the suspects using part of the stolen funds.
The appeal court will be hearing the men’s case on September 11.