Monday, April 25, 2011

Banks warned against 'magic pen'

Banks warned against 'magic pen'

Central Bank says ink used in these Chinese pen disappear from cheques, documents and other types of paper

Picture only for illustrative purpose. The Chinese pen looks like a normal pen (FILE)

The Central Bank has sent an urgent letter to the country's banks, warning them against an illegal Chinese pen, dubbed the "magic pen," which it says can be used to forge documents with its vanishing ink.

The letter, headed "important and very urgent", said such Chinese pens have been illegally smuggled into the UAE, citing a warning letter from Dubai's general administration for criminal investigation.

In a report published on Saturday, the Arabic language newspaper 'Emarat Al Youm' said the Central Bank warned the country's 23 national banks and 28 foreign units that the ink used in the Chinese pen could vanish within one hour to four days after writing on normal paper.

"Banks are urged not to use customers' pens to sign on any official document and cheques to avert those Chinese pens…banks are advised to use only their own pens and to be extremely cautious when completing transactions with normal pens," the letter said, according to 'Emarat Al Youm'.

"This Chinese pen look like a normal pen but its ink is different as it disappears from cheques, documents and other types of paper, rendering those documents valueless…these pens are very cheap and are entering the UAE illegally."

The paper quoted the Central Bank as saying these Chinese pens had already been used in an unamed nearby country, adding that this had prompted the ministry of interior in that country to issue a warning to banks.

"This is a novel swindling method…the warning issued about these types of pens should be taken seriously by all bank employees," 'Emarat Al Youm' quoted Jamal Saleh, head of the risk management section at Dubai Commercial Bank as saying. "All customers should also be warned against this pen through their mobile phones, e-mail or other means."


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