ABU DHABI, 18th May, 2023 (WAM) — The Abu Dhabi Criminal Court, which has jurisdiction over money laundering and tax evasion offences, convicted 13 Indian nationals and companies owned by them, for money laundering. They were found guilty of engaging in an economic activity using the provision of credit facilities through points of sale (POS) without obtaining a licence from the competent authorities. The total amount involved in the money laundering was AED510 million.
The court sentenced four accused, who were present during the trial and others at large in absentia to prison sentences ranging from 5 to 10 years and fines ranging from AED5 to 10 million. The court also ordered confiscation of the seized funds and deportation of the convicted persons from the country once their sentences have been served. The companies involved in these crimes were fined AED10 million each.
The convicts had set up a criminal organisation to conduct an economic activity without a licence from the competent authorities, to provide credit facilities, using the points of sale (POS) of several companies, at the headquarters of a travel agency that was used as the venue for this criminal activity. They made false purchases through the POS of the companies created for this purpose, or by misuse by some of the defendants of the powers granted to them to deal with the bank accounts of companies owned by third parties without the knowledge of their owners, in exchange for the deduction of a percentage in favour of the company that owns and uses the POS device for each withdrawal operation.
Also, the bank transaction reports and the financial analysis issued by the Financial Information Unit (FIU) also indicated significant financial flows into and out of the bank accounts of the defendants and their companies in a short period of time that would be impossible within the legal framework of their respective economic activities, in addition to a multitude of financial operations on these accounts through deposits, withdrawals and transfers with the intention of concealing their source.