Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
Aya Al Deeb, Staff Reporter
The Abu Dhabi Criminal Court, specialised in money laundering and tax evasion crimes, convicted 6 Pakistani suspects and two companies owned by the first suspect of committing the crime of money laundering by conducting suspicious banking transactions, in an attempt to conceal the reality of money obtained from drug trafficking.
The court sentenced the suspects to ten years in jail each, to be followed by deportation, besides a fine of Dhs10 million.
The court also fined two companies, one for advertising and the second for electronics trading, Dhs50 million each, and confiscating the money obtained from the money laundering crime.
Investigations showed that the four suspects of drug trafficking were within a gang including suspects outside and inside the country.
It turned out that the suspects outside were tasked to deal with purchasers and give them information about the whereabouts of the drug after the amount was deposited in one of the bank accounts of the suspects inside the country or in one of the accounts of one of the companies.
The suspects then transferred the money through money exchange companies to persons in Pakistan.
Two million dirhams were found at the residence of the suspects.
Prosecution investigations also revealed that the two Pakistani suspects involved in the money laundering case, were not involved in drug trafficking.
The Money Prosecution also revealed that the number of deposits in one of the accounts of the first suspect amounted to 50 operations per day, each of which ranged between Dhs500 and Dhs1,000.
Investigations revealed that eight of the depositors had previous history of drug abuse, and that the first had different accounts in six banks within the UAE, and the second had accounts in three banks.
The first suspect was also proved to have accounts in two other banks in the name of two companies he owned, where the value of money movement amounted to about Dhs8 million, within six months, which was inconsistent with the activities of the two companies.
He also did not submit any documents proving the legality of their source, which confirmed the two companies were used as a cover for money laundering obtained from the drug trafficking.
On the other hand, the financial auditing of the suspects' accounts proved that there was a coordination between these accounts, and that the method followed for receiving and withdrawing funds were similar to the method of drug trafficking.
It was also proved that all the funds deposited in and withdrawn from these accounts by the defendants were in batches and were transferred to persons in the Pakistan through various money exchange companies inside the UAE.
The Abu Dhabi Customs foiled an attempt to smuggle 80 wraps containing a green substance suspected to be marijuana, distributed in two bags weighing 40 kilogrammes.
While married, the defendant and his divorcee agreed to deposit each a monthly amount in the said account to secure the future of their daughter.
A female customs officer suspected the defendant’s behaviour upon his arrival at the airport and consequently requested him to undergo a luggage search.
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