May 27. 2024. 9:58

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UAE, the safe haven for criminals, terrorists and scammers

In its report, Transparency International said:

Over the past months, the UK government has been taking important steps to keep suspicious foreign wealth out of the London property market and clamp down on anonymous company ownership in the overseas territories. This will slowly make it more difficult for the world’s corrupt politicians and organized crime groups to launder their dirty billions through the combination of offshore tax haven and luxury real estate sector that exist within the British system.

But even as one door begins to close, another remains wide open. A new investigative report released this week by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) shows that the Emirate of Dubai offers criminals and the corrupt an easy alternative for laundering their ill-gotten assets — particularly through high-end real estate.

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) in its report titled ‘Dubai Uncovered: Data Leak Exposes How Criminals, Officials, and Sanctioned Politicians Poured Money Into Dubai Real Estate’ said:

Dubai is one of the world’s most secretive offshore jurisdictions, mainly due to lack of financial transparency, according to The Tax Justice Network.

The advocacy group ranks the United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai, as one of the world’s top ten enablers of both corporate tax abuse and financial secrecy.


“Dubai has an ask-no-questions, see-no-evil approach to commercial and financial regulation, as well as foreign financial crimes,” the group wrote in a 2020 assessment. “It has consequently attracted large financial flows and some of the world’s most high-profile criminals”.

The United Arab Emirates also does not has an extradition treaty with the European Union, the United States and many other countries in the world. In practice, this means wanted criminal suspects can hide out in Dubai to avoid facing justice.

Although UAE has a stricter law for combating money laundering, it is mostly ignored by the authorities concerned as well as law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

According to Article 22 of the Money Laundering Law of the UAE, any person who commits money laundering in the UAE will be punished with imprisonment for at least 1 year and up to 10 years. The perpetrator could also be punished with fines which could range between AED 100,000 to AED 5 million or either fine or imprisonment.

The punishments are harsher if the money laundering crime is committed by the perpetrator who has abused his influence or power vested in him by virtue of his profession, committed through a non-profit organization or an organized criminal group or if he is a repeat offender. In these cases, the punishments include temporary imprisonment (up to 15 year) and fines of AED 300,000 and AED 10 million.

On its official website of the UAE government, it is stated: “The UAE is committed to combatting illegal financial activities such as money laundering and financing of terrorism. The country’s policies and strategies detect and deter financial crimes on its soil, and prevent the use of its lands as a transit route or to transfer funds resulting from any criminal activity. The UAE also supports global efforts to counter money laundering and combat the financing of terrorism, seeking to fully implement the standards of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)”.

Although the anti-money laundering laws or the official statement of the UAE authorities sound strict about money-laundering, in reality – the scenarios is just the opposite. Black money holders, corrupt politicians, businessmen etcetera are welcomed by the UAE authorities with armed widely open while criminals, terrorists, scammers and even members of transnational drug trafficking network and representatives of mafias and narco-cartels are allowed to continue their illegal activities by the authorities.

UAE, a real dark world

According to an October 12, 2022 report published in the VICE World News, “It seems however that drug kingpins who are flagged up by European law enforcement investigators are more likely than ever to get their collars felt in downtown Dubai. New mutual assistance agreements recently entered into by the UAE with European governments mean extradition will become more likely for those who have been red flagged. The announcement of a UAE liaison officer to be permanently based at Europol’s headquarters could spell the end for high end criminals seeking sanctuary in Dubai”.

Dr Davidson further said: “In the past it was people fleeing debts, but there has been a trend for major crime figures to move there. Dubai has replaced the Costa del Sol as the place to be for British gangsters.”

The Global Initiative in a report dated 19 April 2022 said: “Over the past 20 years, criminal groups from the Western Balkans have become key actors in the global drug trade. Balkan networks are involved in heroin trafficking, cannabis production and trafficking, as well as the trafficking of cocaine from Latin America into ports in western and south-eastern Europe.

“[…] It is believed that around two-thirds of all Albanian criminal leaders are hiding in the UAE”.

It further said, the leader of the gang, Daniel Kinahan, his father Christy and brother Christy jnr, have been living in Dubai emirate of the UAE for several years and have extensive business and real estate interests there.

On 27 January 2023, Jordanian news agency MENAFN in a report said, cyber criminal syndicate was unearthed in the United Arab Emirates.

On 23 April 2022, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in a report detailed how an Irish gang found a home away from home in Dubai.

Meanwhile, sitting in the United Arab Emirates, Kerry Adler even had assigned members of his terrorist gang in waging cyber-terror attack targeting Blitz for the exposing his dubious activities. It may be mentioned here that, DDoS attacks are considered a serious crime by the law enforcement agencies in the world, which could result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years. As Kerry Adler is a Canadian citizen and currently residing in the United Arab Emirates, authorities in both the countries can initiate legal actions against him for executing DDoS attack on a newspaper. It may be further stated here that, for more than two decades, Blitz has been fighting religious extremism, militancy, terrorist acts, corruption and crimes committed by various individuals, groups and nations.

According to at least two sources which sought to remain unnamed, Kerry Adler and his son Josh Adler are in the United Arab Emirates as they have been in contact with Ukrainian mafias, oligarchs and dark-money holders, while they are having connections with the drug trafficking rings operated by Lebanese Hezbollah and Afghan drug-lords.

Unfortunately, although the terrorist activities of Kerry Adler have already been brought into attention of authorities in the UAE, there is no visible action yet against this dangerous man.

Authorities in the United Arab Emirates seem to be extremely fond of mafias. That is why, Dubai even has a nightclub named ‘Mafia Dubai’, where criminals, terrorists, crypto frauds, con artists, illegal casinos, human traffickers, drug cartels, gangsters and scammers regularly flock in and enjoy the “forbidden” entertainment of drugs and transnational hookers, most of whom are victims of women and child trafficking gangs.

Editor & Publisher, Weekly Blitz
RECIPIENT OF: PEN USA Freedom to Write Award 2005; AJC Moral Courage Award 2006Key to the Englewood City, NJ, USA, 2007; Monaco Media Award, 2007

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