Four under investigation for illegally trading in special phone numbers

Manager employed at a telecom company accessed the system and sold exclusive numbers at high prices

Dubai: Financial experts will be examining a graft case involving four suspects, who were charged with illegally trading in 1,069 exclusive phone numbers allotted to shaikhs and causing a purported loss of Dh28.6 million to Du.

An Emirati manager was reported to have been in charge of a special department at Du that allotted exclusive numbers for elite and privileged clients.

The manager allegedly accessed Du’s system and traded in [bought and sold] exclusive numbers, according to records, to several clients for huge prices and pocketed the profit for himself between June 2008 and February 2013.

The man allegedly traded in exclusive numbers that included limited packages with an Emirati government employee and his compatriot businessman.

Meanwhile, an Emirati saleswoman, who was stationed at a Du booth in a mall, was also reported to have colluded with the manager in selling exclusive numbers.

A senior executive at Du was contacted by one of his acquaintances, according to records, who notified him that an employee had been trading in exclusive numbers and selling elite or gold packages for up to Dh2,500.

An internal investigation revealed that the manager was the one dealing in the exclusive numbers.

Further police investigation also exposed the involvement of the saleswoman, the government employee and the businessman in the case.

“The case will be referred to a committee of financial experts to re-examine the case file and all transactions and prepare a financial report,” said the presiding judge of a Dubai Court of First Instance bench.

The case had been scheduled for the bench to hand out a judgement before the presiding judge referred it to be examined by financial experts.

Prosecutors charged the manager with abusing his position [being formerly in charge of the department that issues exclusive numbers to members of the ruling family] and buying, selling and reselling those numbers for his personal gains.

He was also accused of misusing the authority granted to him to access Du’s e-system to trade illegally in those numbers and privileged bundles and causing a Dh28.6 million worth of loss to Du.

According to the accusation sheet, prosecutors charged the saleswoman, the employee and the businessman with aiding and abetting the manager.

The suspects pleaded not guilty in the court.

Du’s lawyer lodged a civil lawsuit seeking a temporary compensation against the damages caused by the suspects to the telecommunication service provider.

The trial continues.


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