Dubai: In its September 21 exposé on the masterminds of trading scams, XPRESS had raised a red flag by publishing the initials of eight suspect firms and saying they were preparing to run away after duping business establishments in the UAE.
Barely two months later, B.E, R.A, I.G, H.I.M., T.G, D.E.E, A.A.D and S.R.H.E (full name withheld for legal reasons) variously located in Dubai, Ajman and Sharjah have all shut shop and disappeared after buying goods against cheques which eventually bounced due to insufficient funds.
The company owners and signatories - mostly handpicked dummies - were whisked out of the country before the cheques could be banked.
The big three
It’s not immediately known how many businesses have been duped in the latest round of the all-too familiar trading scam which has wiped out nearly one billion dirhams from the market since 2015 and destroyed hundreds of lives in the UAE. An year-long XPRESS investigation earlier revealed that the trading scams are largely the handiwork of just three gangs.
They are led by longtime UAE residents - DR, MB and the duo of EPJ and SB who stay in the shadows, perfecting the game, building smuggling and distribution networks through China, India, Pakistan, Iraq and the Far East, without leaving so much as a fingerprint.
However, of late, the extremely lucrative trading scams have spawned a tangled network of several breakaway groups.