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UK seeks Dubai Police help to fight organised crime

Britain’s Fraud Investigation Service officials in Dubai to discuss money laundering

Gulf News

Dubai: A senior delegation of the tax authority HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the UK is meeting with UAE law enforcement partners in Dubai to strengthen the joint efforts of both countries to combat organised crime and tax evasion.

Simon York, director of HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, is joined by members of Alan Tully, head of HMRC’s Priority Criminals unit, and Kevin Newe, assistant director of Proceeds of Crime.

York will be meeting with senior officials from Dubai Police, Dubai Customs, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), and the Dubai Public Prosecution to discuss issues of joint interest, including fraud, money laundering and smuggling.

The visit is expected to further strengthen the joint efforts of the UK and the UAE to fight against organised crime and tax evasion, continuing the positive and productive alliance between both countries.

“HMRC and our partners in the UAE law enforcement community are working closely to tackle crime and to ensure that any UK criminals operating in Dubai are returned to the UK to face justice. I would like to pay tribute to the significant support offered by colleagues in Dubai — the UAE has proven it is no sanctuary for UK criminals,” York said.

Earlier this year, the GDRFA, Dubai Police and Dubai Public Prosecution helped secure the deportation to the UK of one of Britain’s most wanted tax fugitives, Geoffrey Johnson.

Johnson had been found guilty of money laundering and sentenced in absentia on September 9, 2014 to 24 years behind bars, after fleeing the UK before the trial. He was involved in a complex fraud in the UK, including the theft of more than Dh800 million and the laundering of more than Dh6 billion.

Dubai authorities caught him trying to enter the emirate illegally from Kenya with a fake passport earlier this year.

As a result of his criminal activities, Johnson owes the UK £109 million (Dh527.8 million) and HMRC is working with UK partners to recover the proceeds of crime, but the deportation shows the importance and operational value of international cooperation.