New 'money touching' stealing method used by criminals

 

New money touching stealing method used by criminals
The thief ask to see the local currency notes, take it in their hands and touch it

Dubai - The Dubai Police calls this method of theft as "money touching", being used by robbers in a consistent manner

by

Amira Agarib

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Published: Mon 21 Aug 2017, 5:42 PM

Last updated: Mon 21 Aug 2017, 7:52 PM

New, fraudulent methods of stealing money from exchange offices and financial establishments are now being used by criminals, the Dubai Police revealed.
For instance, the thief comes in claiming to be a tourist, and asks the money exchange staff to let them see the local currency notes, take it in their hands and touch it. When they employee offers him a stack of notes, the thief swiftly swipes a few without the former noticing it.
One particular exchange staff was robbed twice within minutes using this same trick. The method involves distracting the staff or banker's attention, making the theft very quickly and often involves the use of multiple accomplices.
Lieutenant Colonel Adil Al Joker, director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Dubai Police, that they had named this method of theft as "money touching" and it was being used by robbers in a consistent manner.
Security cameras at the scenes of theft brought attention to the modus operandi of the thieves. In one case, the crime was carried out by a woman and two men. The woman approached the exchange staff and asked to see the local currency notes. Her partner then stepped forward and started talking to the same staff member, while the third waited outside the establishment.
The woman picked up a package from the cash drawer and returned it, without the official noticing that Dh30,000 was stolen from it. While standing next to him, she swiped more money right under his nose.

Modus operandi of the thieves
* Thief walks up to exchange staff, claims to be a tourist
* He or she asks to see the local currency notes?* If an accomplice is involved, they distract the staff by talking to them
* Thief takes stack of notes and swipes a few notes from it
* If other sums of money are kept near staff, they try to steal that too
After reviewing more security footage, other suspects were also spotted stealing using the same method.
CID officials subsequently arrested the criminals and recovered the stolen cash, but warned staff at exchange offices and other outfits dealing with money to pay attention to their surroundings, be wary of customers who approach them and be committed to the rules involving money handling.
The police have also issued a circular to money exchanges to take preventive measures.
Lt Col Al Joker pointed out that in another recent incident, a gold shop in International City was robbed in just under a minute, because the jewellery was only stored inside wooden drawers "like a grocery". The thieves fled with Dh3 million which was later recovered and the gang members caught.
A special section of the Dubai Police analyses these criminal methods, comparing them to the ones used in the thieves' countries of origin to establish patterns, if any. If the act is repeated in multiple incidents, it's labelled a criminal phenomenon - one that that the police takes and deals with seriously.
However, the official said that armed robberies of banks or cashiers have almost completely ceased, except in one case involving a money exchange office in Al Rifa'a area which did not have security measures in place.
Other such con methods used in Dubai included thieves approaching bank customers claiming that their car's window was broken or had a flat tyre and when the customer stepped out to check, they would steal his or her money.
In a joint seminar held by the Dubai Police, in cooperation with a group of bankers and financial institutions for fund transfers, Major-General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, assistant commander-in-chief of the Dubai Police for CID, said the money exchange sector had to establish the first line of defence against crimes of theft and fraud. He urged the use of high-efficiency security systems, including both alarms and cameras, proper concealment of and restricted access to money storage areas.
amira@khaleejtimes.com



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