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Dubai: The Money Laundering Court at the Dubai Courts has convicted a 30-member gang and seven companies for laundering money and embezzling Dh32 million in an online scam targeting individuals and firms.

The gang members were sentenced to a combined total of 96 years of imprisonment. They will be deported from the country after serving their sentence. The Court ordered the defendants to jointly pay a fine of over Dh32 million.

The Court also ordered the confiscation of computers and phones used in the crime. Furthermore, it imposed a combined total fine of Dh700,000 on the seven companies involved in the case. The court may also confiscate funds or assets belonging to the defendants to cover the fine.

Earlier, Dubai Public Prosecution had referred the 30 individuals and seven companies to the Money Laundering Court at the Dubai Courts on the charge of money laundering and running an Dh32 million online scam.

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How the scam worked

Counselor Ismail Madani

Counselor Ismail Madani, Senior Advocate General and Head of Public Funds Prosecution, stated that the gang stole the money by sending 118,000 phishing emails to victims, falsely impersonating banks and financial institutions with whom the victims had business relationships.

These phishing emails requested the victims to transfer payments to the defendants’ accounts. Later, the defendants cashed out the money or transferred it to other accounts, while other defendants purchased used cars to conceal the illicit source of the funds.

Madani added that UAE authorities spare no effort in combating such criminal activity and are fully committed to fighting money laundering, online crimes, and scams that can have a potentially detrimental impact on the national economy. He also commended the collaborative efforts of various entities to address such crimes and uphold the rule of law.