54 suspects in investment fund fraud case in the dock

Abu Dhabi Attorney-General refers 54 suspects to court

ABU DHABI 22 June 2017: Attorney-General of Abu Dhabi, Ali Mohammed Abdullah Al Balushi, has ordered the referral of 54 suspects in an investment fund fraud case, related to car trade, to the relevant criminal court.

The suspects will face charges of fraud, money laundering and practising an economic activity while unlicensed.

Al Balushi stated that criminal law punishes those convicted of the crime of fraud by imprisonment for a period of up to three years, while the punishment for money laundering is also by imprisonment for a period of up to 10 years.

He added that the crime of investment fund fraud had disappeared from Abu Dhabi during the past five years, and this is the first case since 2012, which is a clear indication of the awareness of the authorities fighting this crime, as well as their continuous efforts to provide security in various aspects of economic and social life.

The police and security authorities have investigated the nature of these large-scale funds, as it became evident that there is no actual investment activity, and the resulting profits did not conform to economic market laws. The necessary procedures were also taken to apprehend the suspects numbering 54, after earlier ruling out 15 suspects.

The Attorney General clarified that the number of complaints against the four funds had reached 1,909 until now, with the total deposits being Dh800 million. The value of the financial claims, including the deposited amount, was Dh310 million. The amount seized from the suspects was Dh160 million, in addition to the 395 cars, the trial for which is pending.

As the Public Funds Prosecution took the necessary procedures towards selling these cars in an auction and providing their value for the case, it is expected that the value of the seized cars will reach over Dh52 million.

The investigations confirmed that one car was sold per day, and it was re-purchased by the dealership owners several times. The investigations have shown that the suspects took exclusive possession of the depositors’ money, with which they bought expensive cars and special car licence plates. They also bought real estate and stocks, and one of them bought camels valued at Dh10 million.

By Angel Chan