Autism Rocks
Day-care centre for autism spectrum disorders has shut down amidst charges of alleged international tax fraud Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Healthcare City Authority - Regulatory (DHCR) on Thursday said a day-care centre for autism spectrum disorders has shut down.

It comes at a time that the centre's founder stands alleged of international tax fraud.

The centre began operations with much aplomb in 2017 at the Dubai Health Care City (DHCC). A total 30 autistic children were on the centre’s day care roll when it was closed.

In a statement to Gulf News, Dr Ramadan AlBlooshi, Chief Regulatory Office, Dubai Healthcare City Authority said: “All clinical facilities in DHCC are under our regulatory purview for compliance and patient safety. The Autism Rocks Support Centre in Dubai Healthcare City, which opened in March 2017, met applicable clinical standards and no violations or complaints were recorded against them. We confirm the centre is no longer operational. When any clinic in the free zone undergoes deregistration, the facility is obliged to maintain patient records for up to two years and these records have to be available to the patients. Our role as a regulator is to ensure all clinical facilities follow this process for patient data protection.”

According to British media reports, Briton Sanjay Shah, owner of hedge fund Solo Capital, opened Autism Rocks three years ago to conduct independent research in Autism and raise funds through conducting charity rock concerts featuring international celebrities. “He established Autism Rocks, a charity he set up to raise money for autism research, and put on charity concerts featuring artists including Elton John, Snoop Dogg, Prince, Ed Sheeran and Jennifer Lopez. He also founded a festival in Dubai called Blended, which has featured the BackStreet Boys, Melanie C and Lema,” The Guardian reported on Monday.

Danish tax authority Skat has filed a civil suit against Shah in London High Court accusing him £1.5 billion tax fraud.

“Shah is accused by Denmark of making bogus claims via his hedge fund Solo Capital, which defrauded the Danish tax office out of £1.5bn between 2012 and 2015. The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) raided the offices of Solo Capital in 2016. The hedge fund has closed down,” the paper reported.

Gulf News was unable to independently verify Guardian report.

The Guardian, however, quoted his spokesman Jack Irvine as saying that “Shah denies any wrongdoing”.

The autism centre’s facebook page says: “...Autism Rocks Support Centre provides evidence-based therapeutic services for children with autism and developmental challenges. Our highly-qualified team of professionals utilises globally-recognised advanced techniques, research, and education to create personalised programs that promote a child’s independence, creative thinking, and overall functioning. Being one of the only Makaton friendly centre in Dubai, our staff offers a welcoming environment to those who have no or limited spoken language by understanding, signs, symbols and electronic devices are an effective means of communication.”