Bank Muscat seeks to recover losses as a result of global cyber fraud

US authorities have brought to light a global cyber and pre-paid debit card fraud of $ 45m, which affected two banks in the Middle East.

The losses affected predominantly Oman's largest lender; Bank Muscat, where losses amounted to $39 million. This is approximately 10.5% of the Bank's estimated 2013 earnings.

Bank Muscat has confirmed to the market that they are considering all options to recover losses and minimise impact on shareholders. Additionally, the Bank confirmed that these losses will not impact or affect its customers. Unsurprisingly, the bank suffered the largest one-day drop in its share price since July 2011, stock has since made a moderate recovery.

National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (RAKBANK) was also affected by the cyber fraud and its losses amounted to $4.7m.

Both the US and German authorities are cooperating in this investigation and have so far arrested nine individuals (seven in the US and two in Germany) for their alleged involvement.  

Sunfeast Infotech Fraud

A Dubai based outsourcing company called Sunfeast Infotec is being investigated by the Dubai Economic Department due to allegations concerning the loss of the life savings of 6000 families.

The scheme operated on the basis that investors would pay an initial deposit of Dh500, they would then be given PDF documents to type up into MS Word documents, at a rate of Dh250 per document. The scheme rapidly became very popular due to the quick returns available. A raid on the company's offices last month resulted in the arrest of Sunfeast Infotech's two owners; Raja and Vir Kumar who are now awaiting criminal charges. Sunfeast Infotec has said that investors will get all of their money back, but at the time of writing investors have yet to see the return of their funds.  

Local public official involved in a financial embezzlement case

The former secretary to the Chief Cassation Prosecutor was part of a ring of six men who took part in a AED 29.7m fraud against a Palestinian businessman, Samer Al Sadek. The group claimed to be able to use connections with public officials to ensure their businesses were successful and induced Mr Al Sadek to invest in their illegitimate business deals. The former secretary has been sentenced to five years' in prison along with one other of the group who has been sentenced to five years' and deportation. The other four members of the group have been sentenced to one year in prison and deportation to their respective countries. All six have been ordered to pay compensation to Mr Al Sadek.

Foreign embezzlement case