Dubai: Man convicted for unauthorised access to transport system, recharging 81 cards worth Dh107,000

Supervisor of automatic collection systems saw suspicious activity and uncovered illegal transactions

by

Afkar Ali Ahmed

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Published: Wed 12 Apr 2023, 8:47 AM

Last updated: Wed 12 Apr 2023, 11:45 PM

A 36-year-old Asian programmer gained unauthorised access to a system that adds credits to public transportation cards and illicitly recharging 81 cards with a total value of Dh107,000. The Dubai Misdemeanour Court convicted the accused and subsequently fined Dh91,000.

According to police records, a supervisor of automatic collection systems at the Public Transport Authority in Dubai, uncovered suspicious transactions taking place within the money transfer system between transportation cards.


He noticed suspicious activity that took place through one of the public transportation systems allowing the user to transfer credit between cards using smartphones.

The supervisor said that after examining the matter with relevant authorities, it was found that this service was not available to the public. It was uncovered that an unidentified individual (the “accused”) hacked the system and used 81 cards to recharge and transfer amounts between cards.


After further investigation, it was found that the person who carried out these operations was a user registered with an Emirati identity, and he was an Asian programmer. Subsequently, the police were informed of the incident.

According to the case file, the accused was summoned, and he admitted to his crime. He gained access to the system through a loophole in programming of a smart application. The court convicted him and issued its ruling.

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