UAE: 13 Indians found guilty of money laundering, tax evasion

They were found to have conducted illegal economic activities valued at Dh510 million

By Web Desk

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Published: Thu 18 May 2023, 12:08 PM

Last updated: Fri 19 May 2023, 12:00 AM

Thirteen defendants of Indian nationality and seven companies they owned were convicted of money laundering and tax evasion offences, according to Abu Dhabi authorities.

They were found to have conducted economic activities — involving the unlicensed provision of credit facilities through points of sale (POS) — valued at Dh510 million, according to a ruling from the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court.

Four defendants were sentenced to jail terms ranging from 5 to 10 years, followed by deportation. They were also ordered to pay fines ranging from Dh5 million to Dh10 million. Companies involved in the crime were each fined Dh10 million.

Investigations revealed that the group had set up a "criminal organisation" and used the headquarters of a travel agency to carry out unlicensed economic activities through which they had reportedly gained over half a billion dirhams.

The group ran an elaborate racket to launder money: They would pay customers in cash and then use their credit cards to make fake purchases through their companies' POS. In some cases, they would go as far as help customers settle credit card debts by depositing cash into their accounts, making another fraudulent POS transaction, and then deducting an interest amount.

Bank transaction reports and financial analysis statements issued by the Financial Information Unit (FIU) also indicated significant cash flows into and out of the bank accounts of the defendants and their companies in a short period of time. Such amounts would have been impossible to get through their declared businesses.

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