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UAE ‘Magicians’ Arrested for Bank Note Swindle | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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ABU DHABI, (AFP) — Two men were arrested in Abu Dhabi for swindling a large number of people with claims they possessed “magic powder” that doubled bank notes, a local newspaper reported on Sunday.

The men would show their victims what they said were the supernatural powers of the powder, which if sprinkled over banknotes in a bag, would double the amount; The National cited the interior ministry as saying.

After the victims handed over a large number of notes, the “magicians” would swap the money with fake notes covered with the powder, which lab tests showed consisted of flour and washing powder, the paper reported.

“A massive number of people, not some, lost to them,” said Colonel Maktoum al-Sharifi, the director of the Criminal and Investigative Directorate, without saying how much money the men had swindled.

The two men were caught in an Abu Dhabi hotel after they played the trick on an undercover policeman posing as a potential customer, the paper added.

The UAE, a federation of seven emirates, is one of the safest countries in the Middle East, but bank robberies, money laundering and financial fraud cases are not uncommon.