UAE: 9 fined Dh10 million each over fake digital currency trade, money laundering

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on July 28, 2021

They were also each sentenced to 10 years in jail.

A gang of nine has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for money laundering activities and for obtaining Dh18 million through bogus cryptocurrency trade.

The court also fined each of the defendants Dh10 million and six companies that were involved in the illegal activities were fined Dh50 million each.

The Abu Dhabi Criminal Court, which is committed to looking into money laundering and tax evasion crimes, handed down the sentences after the defendants were found guilty of obtaining the cash through fraudulent means and engaging in money laundering activities.

Official court documents stated that the men obtained the cash through use of new technologies.

One of the accused who was operating from outside the UAE communicated with the victims. The man, who claimed to be working with foreign investment companies dealing in digital currencies, deceived the victims by telling them they would obtain big profits in return for their investment.

Prosecutors said the man had asked the victims to transfer cash to the bank accounts of companies based in the UAE to make them believe that it was a genuine investment.

After receiving the cash from the victims through internal bank transfers, the defendants who operated through organised criminal groups, deposited the money into their bank accounts and then transferred the cash between the accounts of their companies.

They then transferred large amounts of the cash to accounts outside the state, with the intention of concealing evidence and disguising the source of the illegal funds.

After hearing the case, the judge issuing his ruling in the presence of four defendants who are of different nationalities. The rest were sentenced in absentia. The men will be deported from the country after serving their sentences, except for the second defendant.

The court also ordered the confiscation of all the funds involved in the money laundering activities, whether in the form of cash in the bank accounts of the defendants or assets owned by the accused derived from or resulting from the money laundering activities. It also ordered the confiscation of proceeds and means used in the crime.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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