Tainted money routed through 10 countries

DUBAI — Dubai Police clarified yesterday that the money-laundering operations alleged by US authorities to have been carried out by a Dubai-based drug trafficker were in fact carried out in over 10 countries outside the UAE.


Amira Agarib

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Published: Thu 17 May 2007, 8:56 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:24 AM

In a Press release issued earlier, the US authorities said they had seized several million dollars after freezing 16 US bank accounts of a Dubai-based trader, arrested here earlier this year in February along with several others on charges of money laundering.

Dubai Police Chief Lieutenant-General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim said yesterday that the trader when interrogated by police had revealed that their main hub for money transfers was Beirut, as directed by Colombian drugs traffickers.

The police, he added, has also seized over 420,000 incriminating

and transferred money through foreign banks in more than 10 countries including Britain, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany and Spain.

Lt Gen. Dhahi revealed that gang members had transferred million of dollars to India, the United States, Hong Kong, China Singapore, UK, Holland, Pakistan and Macau — besides smaller amounts to other countries around the world. He said the total amount involved in this international money laundering case was not just the $5.6 million seized by the US authorities. In fact, the total amount involved is estimated to be about Dh20 billion ($5.5 billion), according to the Dubai police chief. Lt Gen. Dhahi also pointed out the main source of this money was drug trafficking and other proceeds from other international crimes and it was being routed through a number of banks and financial institution in many countries including Dubai from 1999 to February 2007.

According to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) last week, the seizure of 16 bank accounts in the US containing in excess of $5.6 million were utilised by a Dubai-based narcotics money launderer. The seizure was effected pursuant to a civil seizure warrant that was obtained and executed on May 3. The DOJ statement said the seizure of over $5.6 million from Dubai-based money launderer was in connection with laundering of narcotics proceeds through sham commodities trade transactions. It also stated that law enforcement authorities in Italy, the United Kingdom, and the UAE had learned that an Albanian narcotics trafficking syndicate operating in Italy was laundering its illicit proceeds through a Dubai-based trader.

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