Etisalat probe after $7.4mn 'stolen over two years'

UPDATE 2: Company insists its procedures are robust, helped to uncover wrong-doing.

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By  Dylan Bowman and James Exelby Published  September 8, 2008

An Etisalat employee accused of attempting to embezzle nearly $7.5 million will be handed over to authorities once an internal investigation is completed.

It is alleged that the employee, a female Emirati national according to UAE daily Gulf News, was able to convert regular payments from the accounts of payrolls into her personal account in local banks, transferring two million dirhams per batch, for more than two years.

The employee, who is in charge of payroll at one of the company's branches, has been referred to the public prosecution, Arabic daily Emarat Alyoum said, citing Etisalat corporate communications manager Ahmed bin Ali.

He told the paper that the company discovered the wrong-doing and formed an internal investigation committee.

He said: "The company has recovered the whole amount, but the internal committee is still investigating the case, and upon completion of the internal investigation, the entire case will be transferred to the judiciary to take legal course."

Company officials said that the discovery of the case confirmed that the company's security procedures had worked.

They stressed that the company was committed to the standards of transparency and financial management.

The employee was caught after her bank noticed that her account had increased dramatically over a short period of time.

They then checked the value of her monthly salary and sent a letter to Etisalat voicing the bank's concerns.

The employee is said to have confessed to her bosses and she was forced to resign, as well as return the full amount.

Etisalat shares fell 2.3 percent on Monday on talk of the probe.

3935 days ago

As the article mentions she was able to "convert regular payments from the accounts of payrolls into her personal account ". mmm does it mean the money has been stolen from the salaries of Etisalat employees and not Etisalat itself ?

3939 days ago
Graham Plater

Yes, had the employee been male he might have more easily squandered it instead of keeping it in his account so that his bank could blow the whistle on him. Strange that someone with the wits to steal a few millions should then be dumb enough not to run with the loot instead of waiting around to get caught...

3939 days ago

What is really astonishing is that she managed to keep all the money in her account without spending it on properties or stock market or shopping or any other means. If it was a guy, he would buy a Ferari .. invest some in some lavish property , etc....

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