Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
Mohammed Yaseen, Staff Reporter
The Dubai Public Prosecution referred 18 defendants of different nationalities to the Dubai Misdemeanors Court on charges of laundering $8.4 million (Dhs31 million) between 2014 and 2020 by exploiting three companies that were established after embezzling the money of clients of a GCC lawyer’s office.
The case dated back to 2020 when a GCC lawyer discovered that the head of intellectual property section in an office he owned had embezzled the lawyer’s fees taken from clients and had established three companies to deceive clients and collect lawyer’s fees from a major car agency in the country.
According to the arraignment, the prime suspect in the money laundering case, who had been convicted of embezzling Dhs185 million from the GCC lawyer’s office in collaboration of two accomplices, managed to establish many companies in several countries and was able to receive the office’s fees in collaboration with a manager working in a car company in a European country.
The latter made it possible for the office’s fees to be transferred to the prime suspect’s private company.
The defendants were able to take control of the agencies of international brands in several countries and print receipts in the name of their companies as branches of the GCC lawyer’s office.
By this, the defendants were able to receive millions of dirhams and transfer them to bank accounts belonging to people in several countries.
It was proved that three of the defendants were able to illegally transfer millions of dirhams through exchange companies over short periods of time.
Investigations showed that one of the defendants had established several accounts in his home country, while three others were able to transfer $6 million to the prime suspect’s account and $2 million to the account of another defendant with the aim of concealing their crime and using that money in projects.
The Court ordered Ghafoor to pay Dhs5 million ($1.36 million) fine, while the Dhs18 million in his account to be confiscated.
The Court also ordered the seizure of the proceeds of the money laundering crime and the property of equivalent value, sentenced the two accused to pay an amount of Dhs501,000 as temporary compensation for the two companies claiming civil rights.
The Federal Decree No. (20) of 2018 on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism is a fundamental pillar and contributes to raising the effectiveness of the legal and institutional framework of the nation to achieve desired results, in line with the requirements and recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
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