International News

    Fraudsters ‘turning Dubai into the new Costa del Crime’

    Fraudsters involved in scams costing the Treasury almost £100m have bought a string of luxury apartments in Dubai – now considered to have replaced Spain’s Costa Del Crime as the place to launder money – a major leak of a secret Dubai property database has revealed.
    The list of purchasers will be studied closely by British investigators, who have been chasing the missing millions the fraudsters owe the UK and other European countries. All the men are accused of being involved in so-called carousel fraud, which is estimated to have cost the UK £16.5bn in tax revenues between 2005 and 2016.
    Rod Stone, former assistant director of the HM Revenue and Customs organised crime national coordination unit, said fraudsters began consigning goods via Dubai in 2005 in an attempt to undermine the tax authorities’ ability to identify the tell-tale circular movements that indicate carousel fraud. “Fraudsters used Dubai banks to avoid both the stringent anti-money laundering reporting requirements in the UK, and the authorities’ ability to freeze their ill-gotten gains,” Stone said. “Many law enforcement professionals now believe that Dubai has replaced the Costa del Crime in Spain as the place criminals conceal and invest the proceeds.”

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