Massive fraud puts 54 in Abu Dhabi court

Added 13th September 2017

Defence witnesses will take to the stand on Sunday on behalf of 54 men charged with scamming almost 2,000 people in a Ponzi-style investment scheme believed to be the biggest in Abu Dhabi history.

Massive fraud puts 54 in Abu Dhabi court

The defendants, eight of whom were caught with the help of Interpol, have been charged with fraud and money laundering.

The ongoing trial was adjourned on Tuesday until 17 September when the defence witnesses will speak, reports local newspaper Gulf News.

Car sales scam

The, mostly Emirati, men are accused of running an investment scam that was disguised as a car trading business that encouraged customers to investment money via four funds.

Prosecutor Hassan Al Hammadi said that the scheme worked in two parts. The men would buy second-hand cars using post-dated cheques. They would then sell them to other victims but not deliver them.

The money from the sale would be used to pay back previous investors.

Returns of between 70-100% were promised.

Police began investigating the scam over a year ago after receiving more than 400 complaints from investors over the course of five days.

Charges denied

The defendants denied the charges and have pleaded not guilty. The three masterminds behind the fraud and one person referred to as an “agent” were remanded in custody, while 47 other defendants were released on bail ahead of the trial.

One trial witness said the main defendant, who started his business in December 2016, owned a car showroom and collected money from people for investment in return for 80% profit within four to six months.

Extent of the fraud

The men were arrested in June on charges of scamming AED1.3bn from 3,700 people.

Abu Dhabi attorney general, Ali Al Balushi, later said that the number of complaints received was 1,909 with total deposits being AED800m (£165m, $218m, €182m).

Prosecutors told the court on Tuesday that almost 2,000 people have come forward with financial claims of up to AED310m.

Visitor's Comments Add your comment

Add Your Comment

We won't publish your address

About Author

Kirsten Hastings

Senior Reporter

Kirsten is a senior reporter for International Adviser, covering global news stories about the financial services industry. She joined Last Word Media in October 2015 after two years working as a reporter covering the staffing and recruitment industry. Kirsten has a Masters in Financial Journalism from the University of Stirling. 

Features

Why you should care about the German elections

Why you should care about the German elections...

You may be forgiven for not staying up late this Sunday to watch the final results of Germany’s parliamentary elections come in. While chancellor Merkel is sure to win, the scale of her victory is likely...

Analysis

Profiles

Directories

Canada Life International Limited
Canada Life International...

Canada Life International Canada Life House,...

Tweets

Events

IA Best Practice Adviser Awards Europe 2017
IA Best Practice Adviser Awards Europe 2017

Thursday 28 September
The Waldorf Hilton, London

IA Future Advisory Forum Europe 2017
IA Future Advisory Forum Europe 2017

Thursday 28 September
The Waldorf Hilton, London

IA Future Advisory Forum Cape Town 2017
IA Future Advisory Forum Cape Town 2017

Thursday 5 October
The Vineyard Hotel, Cape Town

IA Best Practice Adviser Awards South Africa 2017
IA Best Practice Adviser Awards South Africa 2017

Thursday 5 October
The Vineyard Hotel, Cape Town

Sponsored Content

Investment Strategy

OTHER STORIES FROM LAST WORD...