Abu Dhabi court
Abu Dhabi Courts. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Criminal Court, which has jurisdiction over crimes of money laundering and tax evasion, has convicted an organised criminal group consisting of 79 people from different nationalities, who specialised in internet fraud by using fake URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) of a Chinese website offering securities brokerage and trading services to induce their victims to invest in securities with the aim of appropriating the value of their investment, in addition to committing the crime of money laundering in order to conceal the source of the sums received.

The court’s ruling covered in presence 66 defendants and 13 others in absentia. They were part of the same criminal enterprise, which included 72 Chinese nationals, one Jordanian, two Nigerians, two Cameroonians, one Ugandan and one Kenyan. They were sentenced to prison terms ranging from three to 15 years with deportation from the country after serving their respective sentences, and fines ranging from Dh200,000 to Dh10 million with confiscation of all funds seized from the accused, as well as confiscation of their bank balances, real estate, cars, computers, mobile phones, watches and jewellery.

The accused individuals were involved with another unknown person in tampering with internet protocols of a China-based website specialised in securities trading, using a fictitious address belonging to others with the intention of defrauding the victims who were lured into investing in securities, and thus appropriating their funds, which was followed by money laundering crimes in order to conceal the truth about the source of the proceeds.