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Dubai approves extradition of Danish financier


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates –

A court in Dubai on Thursday approved the extradition of a British financier to Denmark accused of orchestrating a $1.7 billion tax scheme.

Hedge fund trader Sanjay Shah is accused of masterminding a scheme spanning from 2012 to 2015 in which foreign businesses pretended to own shares in Danish companies and demanded a refund of the taxes they paid. not enough condition.

The Dubai government’s communications office said the documents showed “he was involved in fraud and money laundering”. Shah was arrested in Dubai earlier this year at the request of Danish authorities. Dubai’s attorney general appealed the September ruling that rejected his extradition.

In a separate ruling that month, Shah was ordered to pay $1.25 billion to Danish tax authorities as part of a civil lawsuit in Dubai. His lawyers are appealing that ruling.

Shah’s lawyer, Ali Al Zarooni, said he was “disappointed” with the latest extradition ruling and would file an appeal with the highest court of the United Arab Emirates, where Dubai is located. . He said the defense team expects a final verdict from that court in the next two months.

The 52-year-old tycoon insists he is innocent in interviews with journalists but has never appeared in Denmark to answer the charges. His defense argued in closed-door hearings that Denmark had not followed the procedures set forth in international extradition treaties.

Denmark welcomed the ruling as a “great victory.”

Danish Foreign Minister Lars L├╕kke Rasmussen told Danish broadcaster DR: “Achieving this requires a sustained effort from Danish foreign policy and meaningful cooperation. built with the government of the United Arab Emirates. “Hopefully today we’re one step closer to bringing Sanjay Shah to justice in the extortion case.”

The Shah’s lifestyle on Dubai’s luxurious palm-shaped island over the past few years has caused outrage in Denmark. After the Danish authorities signed an extradition agreement with the UAE, the Dubai police arrested Shah in June. Shah was among those wanted on suspicion of the tax scheme.

While in Dubai, the hedge fund manager ran a center for children with autism that closed in 2020 as Denmark sought his extradition. He also oversees a UK-based charity, Autism Rocks, which raises funds through concerts and performances.

His arrest comes as pressure mounts on Dubai, the region’s financial hub, over its alleged weaknesses in combating illicit financing. The UAE, a federation of seven emirates, has long invited the wealthy, including the disgraced public figures, to invest in the country without questioning where they got their money.

However, in recent months, the UAE has arrested a number of suspects wanted for major crimes, including two Gupta brothers from South Africa, accused of facilitating public corruption and embezzlement. withdraw state resources with former President Jacob Zuma. An official from the United Arab Emirates also recently became president of Interpol, the international police agency.

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