Dubai Police Bust 20 African Gangs, Arrest Dozens of Fraudsters

Dubai police on Wednesday busted 20 African gangs for committing blackmailing and cyber extortion crimes as well as fraudulent activities against social media users as part of its operation “Shadow” — it utilized the latest technologies at the Criminal Data Analysis Center of Dubai Police.

The force also recently arrested a married couple who deceived social media users by posing as a recruitment agency for domestic helpers.

Brigadier Jamal Al Jallaf, Director of CID at Dubai Police, revealed that they had received a reliable tip-off about some African gangs who lured men by posting and sharing photos of girls on social media platforms and via e-mails.

“When the victim arrives at the specified address, he would find a different girl than the one he had chatted with online” Al Jallaf said.

“The gang would threaten victims and take their belongings including mobile phones and credit cards after they take pictures of the men in indecent positions and threaten to post their videos online and share it with the victims’ contacts if they report the matter to the authorities. The victims would end up sharing their mobile phone passcodes and credit card security pins, and paying huge amounts to avoid being defamed online and among their family members”, he added.

A team was formed upon receiving the tip-off, and a thorough plan was set up to apprehend the 47 African suspects — 10 women and 37 men. Comprehensive investigations led to the arrest of suspects in Dubai and in a nearby emirate. They had been renting flats under fake IDs.

Another fraud case involved a married couple of Arab nationality, who claimed they could bring domestic helpers into the country despite the shutdown of airports imposed by the recently completed National Sterilization Program. 46 people had fallen victims to the online fraudsters who lured victims with expedited procedures for only AED 3,000 in recruitment fees.

“During the National Sterilization Program, the Smart Police Station (SPS) received several reports against anonymous for defrauding victims and posing as representatives of a labor recruitment agency promising victims with domestic helpers,” the director of CID explained.

“Task teams were formed to investigate the reports and track down the suspects with the aid of available digital forensics tools,” “Soon after, our investigation teams gathered the necessary information and pinned down the married fraudsters,” Brig. Al Jallaf said.

“The couple confessed to their crimes and revealed they had been scamming families across the emirates by exploiting the suspension of labor recruitment during the National Sterilization Program and taking advantage of people’s need for help during the quarantine period,” he added.

Original report in Saudi Gazette