Ahad Khalid, a Pakistani national based in Dubai, got shock of his life when on Wednesday evening he received a message from his bank, saying that Dh180,000 had been deposited to his account, though he wasn’t expecting to receive such a big amount from anybody.
More interestingly, he did not even know the person who had sent the money to his account.
Upon investigating the transaction, Khaled discovered that the sender was an individual who intended to buy a car with the money sent. Now sure that he was not the right person to receive the money, he contacted his bank, HSBC.
“I did not hesitate for a second to keep the money. I stuck to my morals and called the bank immediately,” says the insurance broker.
The situation got more miraculous when the bank investigated the matter.
“They said it might have been part of a money laundering operation,” says Khaled.
When asked about the case by Emirates 24l7, HSBC bank said it needs more time to investigate the matter.
“At first, the person I spoke to said I must have exposed my account number somewhere, but I am sure that only my company has the account number and I did not expose it anywhere else. The next day HSBC contacted me again and was informed that the transaction might have been part of a money laundering operation.”
Khaled told Emirates 24l7 that he immediately thought of illegal circuit when he received the amount on Wednesday evening. “It could be a genuine mistake, but people do not generally make mistakes with large amounts of money, such as Dh180, 000. I sensed it was probably an illegal transfer, that accidently got routed to my account.”
According to Khaled, UAE banking rules state that in such a case where the amount was sent from an individual account holder to another individual’s account, the receiver has no legal obligation to return the money unless he signs an authorisation for the bank to reverse the transaction.
“I did not need to return the money,” he says.
In the next few days HSBC bank will agree with Khaled on how to handle the case from here.
With the incident, Khaled hopes to influence others to follow the steps of righteousness. “I hope to encourage integrity and discipline in our society, while the majority of the population is plagued with financial problems,” he says.