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Abu Dhabi refers 54 suspects to court in investment fund fraud case

Abu Dhabi refers 54 suspects to court in investment fund fraud case

The suspects were allegedly involved in fraud related to car trading

Abu Dhabi’s attorney-general Ali Mohammed Abdullah Al Balushi has referred 54 suspects in an investment fund fraud case to the relevant criminal court.

The suspects were allegedly involved in fraud related to car trading, official news agency WAM reported.

They will face charges of fraud, money laundering and practicing an economic activity without a licence.

Under the law, those convicted of fraud face imprisonment for up to three years, while the punishment for money laundering is also by imprisonment for up to 10 years.

According to police and security authorities, investigations into the operation of the large-scale funds revealed that there was no actual investment activity and that the resulting profits did not “conform to economic market laws”.

The investigations also confirmed that one car was sold per day, and that it was re-purchased by the dealership owners several times.

Through the fund, the suspects took 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 Dhs10m.

Al Balushi confirmed that the number of complaints against the funds had reached 1,909, with the total deposits into them reaching Dhs800m. The value of the financial claims stood at Dhs310m, the report said.

The amount seized from the suspects was Dhs160m, in addition to 395 cars.

The Public Funds Prosecution is now undertaking the necessary procedures to sell the cars in an auction and provide their value for the case. The value of the seized vehicles is estimated to reach over Dhs52m, the report added.

Investment fund fraud had “disappeared from Abu Dhabi during the past five years”, making this the first such case since 2012, WAM quoted Al Balushi as saying.

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