Photo has been used for illustrative purpose.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The UAE Public Prosecution has ordered a gang of nine members to be referred to the court after being found guilty of committing a money-laundering crime using the funds they collected from theft and fraud operations. In a statement issued today (Wednesday), the Public Prosecution said: “Following thorough investigations conducted by the Sharjah Public Prosecution, it was found that a gang of nine suspects are targeting workers.
They used to issue SIM cards under workers’ names, open bank accounts and obtain ATM cards under their names. “The gang was running and managing these accounts through online banking apps available on smartphones and were defrauding victims by calling them, pretending to be bank employees who want to update their data or win a financial prize.
“At that time, they obtain the necessary information to access the victims’ accounts, transfer money to other bank accounts they had opened for this purpose, then withdraw cash and deposit it in other accounts belonging to them to send it later outside the country. Investigations also revealed that they had forged some bank seals as well.”
The Public Prosecution stressed that necessary legal action has been taken against the culprits and were referred to the competent court, urging the public to be cautious and not to cooperate or respond to fraudsters via telephone calls or by any means of communication, and to inform the competent authorities immediately whenever they receive such calls.
The Public Prosecution said it will ask the competent court to apply the maximum penalty against the accused, in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Decree No. 20 of 2018 on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism, which stipulates that a temporary imprisonment and a fine of no less than Dhs300,000 (three hundred thousand dirhams) and no more than Dhs10,000,000 (ten million dirhams) shall be applied on perpetrators of money laundering crimes.
The 23 main convicts have been sentenced to 10 years in jail with a fine of Dhs10 million each, while 11 convicts have been sentenced to 7 years in jail with a fine of Dhs10 million, and one convict has been sentenced to 5 years in jail with a fine of Dhs10 million.
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).
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.
Under the decree-law, an independent local regular body titled ‘Sharjah Police General Headquarters’ will be established in the Emirate of Sharjah.
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