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27 April 2018 at 10:02 BST

Islamic bank retrieves $170 million as it uncovers internal fraud

Abu Dhabi's Al Hilal Bank has uncovered internal fraud as employees helped to steal over $170 million, most now retrieved.


Al Hilal Bank PJSC, a top Islamic bank headquartered in Abu Dhabi, has uncovered internal fraud worth more than 600 million dirhams ($163 million), according to a Bloomberg report. A total of 38 people from Asian and European backgrounds were arrested last summer for the "unlawful confiscation" of 635 million dirhams from a UAE bank, Abu Dhabi’s Judicial Department said in an emailed statement, without identifying the lender.

Funds retrieved
The case now before the courts includes bank employees and others. Police and the central bank have been able to retrieve 625 million dirhams of the money taken, according to the statement. A spokesman for Al Hilal did not respond to Bloomberg’s requests for comment. Some employees at the Abu Dhabi state-owned Islamic lender allegedly withdrew funds from dormant customer accounts. Money was then transferred from the Al Hilal accounts to bogus accounts before being withdrawn.

Islamic bond sale
Al Hilal was founded by the Abu Dhabi Investment Council, an investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government, and has total assets worth 42.7 billion dirhams, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This quarter, the bank hired Emirates NBD PJSC, First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC, HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Nomura Holdings Inc to manage the sale of dollar-denominated Islamic bonds.


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