Abu Dhabi Criminal court has sentenced 40 people of different nationalities to prison terms on charges of fraud and money laundering. Image Credit: Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: At least forty defendants of different nationalities were sentenced to prison terms, ranging between 5 and 10 years and a fine of about 860 million dirhams in total for fraud and money laundering, the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court has ruled.

Twenty-three defendants were handed down 10 years in prison and Dh10 million fine each, 11 others got seven-year prison and Dh10 million fine each, while another convict was jailed five years and fined Dh10 million.

The court also sentenced five defendants to six months in prison and a fine of Dh20,000 each. The court also ordered confiscation of all funds and proceeds of the crime and deportation of 23 foreign convicts after serving their terms.

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Eight companies involved

Eight companies involved in fraud and money laundering were also fined Dh50 million each.

The security services received formation about a gang of a group of people including 17 Emiratis, 16 Iranians, two Indians, in addition to one accused each of Saudi, Mauritanian, American, Greek and Comoros nationalities. They engaged in fraud, carrying out an economic activity without a license and money laundering.

Investigations showed the gang set up an unlicensed project for trading on the stock market, and lured the victims by offering them profits ranging between 16% and 18% per month from the invested capital, in addition to the option of manual trading of shares.

Fake digital currencies

The gang then announced the conversion of the victims’ capital into fake digital currencies that they called (Foin), thus not enabling investors to recover their capital or receive any profits.

The Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution of Funds’ investigations showed from 2015 to 2017 the gang ran unlicensed organisations, which accepted only cash from the victims to keep suspicions away from them.

The gang also set up teams to conduct training courses for the victims and held huge concerts attended by international artists, according to the court records.