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Abu Dhabi court orders 10-year Jail for 9 accused in crypto money laundering case

coingape.com 28 July 2021 13:17, UTC
Reading time: ~2 m

9 crypto money laundering culprits were sentenced to a decade in jail time and Dh10 million in fine, each by a criminal court in Abu Dhabi. Along with the individuals, over 6 companies have also been proven guilty of crypto money laundering allegations.

The racket accumulated a total of Dh18 million in stolen funds from the victims. Post jail time, the defendants will be deported back to their homelands, except for the second defendant. The companies that were accomplices to the crime are also liable to pay the fine of Dh50 million. Meanwhile, all stolen funds and assets have been seized by the authorities.

Racket operations

Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) reported that the Abu Dhabi-based crypto money laundering racket started with a defendant based in a foreign nation. This individual would contact amateur and aspiring crypto investors and convince them of his proficiency in crypto investment which qualified him to invest in the crypto market at highly profitable rates.

The victims were asked to transfer their money, followed by a mandatory tax that needed to be paid before the acquisition of the profit amounts. They transferred the same to a UAE-based shell company, from where a considerable portion of the money was then transferred by the defendants to bank accounts that were held outside the UAE. This racket was caught when one of the potential victims reported suspicious activity.

AML policies get stricter

With increasing crypto money laundering rackets, the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies are also getting stricter globally. Recently, a cryptocurrency clause was also added to the EU’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) proposal. The Commission’s legislative proposal for crypto is responsible for regulating crypto-assets service providers, as well as transfers in crypto assets, with a mandatory requirement to provide information on the originator and the beneficiary that are already commonplace for bank transfers.

Along with the EU, Korea is also targeting crypto money laundering groups with its updated AML policies. While authorities are taking steps to secure retail and institutional investors from crypto frauds, small crypto businesses are getting caught in the crossfire.

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