Money Exchange scam: UAE Central Bank refunds remittance money to customers

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Within a week after a UAE-based money exchange shut its doors, the country’s Central Bank has started refunding customers who lost money in remittance.

A number of customers told Arabian Business they have received their money from the exchange house.

“I got a full refund after I went to the money exchange centre near Burjuman. There was a central bank officer who asked me to sign a sheet, which mentioned that ‘the money was being refunded due to delay in sending’,” said S. Sanjeev, an Indian.

“I appreciate the work of Central Bank, particularly during the Ramadan time. Now, I will no longer be using a small exchange house. My priority is to ensure my money reaches my home and so I have decided to use only the big remittance houses,” he added.

Last week, the Indian owner of the exchange group had reportedly fled the country, with a large number of customers losing their remittance money.

Unexpected closure of “Smart Exchange”, which has six branches – three in Dubai, two in Abu Dhabi and one in Sharjah – has created panic among scores of customers in the UAE.

Customers who wired money to their home countries through the exchange house said they were left devastated as their hard-earned savings vanished overnight.

According to earlier reports, customers had lost amounts between Dh 1,000 and Dh 45,000 in individual transfers.

Industry sources had confirmed that customers would get their money back, as each exchange house has to give a bank guarantee that ranges from AED 3 million  and AED 75 million, depending on the size of operation.

Published on 6 June 2017

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