190716 Sharjah Police
Sharjah Police arrest of a gang dealing in narcotics and also bust a money laundering racket while investigating a 'wrong' bank transfer. Image Credit: Sharjah Police

Sharjah: A 60-year-old businessman has been ordered by the court to pay a fine of Dh100,000, followed by deportation, in a money laundering case.

The Afghan man was also accused of selling drugs and the case is still being heard in court.

The details of the case came to light when the businessman received a text message, saying that an amount of Dh1,000 had been deposited in his bank account.

The man was surprised to have received such a message and contacted the bank to find out the source of the fund. The bank had promised to find out the source and call back. However, owing to his busy business schedule, he failed to follow up the matter with the bank.

A year after this, the man suddenly received a call from Sharjah Police’s Preventive Security Department, asking him to be present at the department for questioning. When he went there, he was told by the police that they had arrested two Emirati men on charges of drug addiction. After the duo’s arrest, they told the police that they were used to transferring money to a certain bank account and that the account holder had sent the location on WhatsApp from where they could collect the drugs.

However, the suspects had made a mistake with one digit in the bank account number and had sent the money inadvertently to the businessman’s account.

Police investigations later led to the arrest of a gang dealing in narcotics, while the businessman was accused of money laundering. Police had also got in touch with the bank and sought certain information, which confirmed the accusation that the businessman — who had inadvertently received the Dh1,000 in his bank account from the drug addicts — was himself involved in money laundering.

The Sharjah Court of First Instance initially heard the case and then referred it to the Court of Misdemeanour, which sentenced the 60-year-old businessman over money-laundering charges and he was ordered to pay a fine of Dh100,000, followed by deportation.