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17 May, 2007

Dubai moneylaundering cartels

Twenty billion dollars is rather a tidy sum of money:

Dubai - Two gangs responsible for laundering huge amounts of money through Dubai and other parts of the world have been busted, the head of Dubai Police has revealed. The police chief said the international gangs were responsible for laundering more than dhs74 billion during their operations. Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan, speaking to an Arabic newspaper, said one of the gangs was responsible for laundering around dhs20 billion. Much of the dirty money originated in Colombia and came from drug dealing and assasinations.

One could buy ten thousand of Damac's Signature apartments for that or hire a labourer for fifteen million years. Or enjoy 185 million brunches at the Burj Al Arab. Or make a ten minute international phone call at Etisalat's peak rates.

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27 Comments:

Anonymous art from bart said...

Cute!

How about ALL THE HUGE SHOPPING MAllS with no, or little, visitors and which undertake massive expansions....

Makes you think.

17 May, 2007 07:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD - that's exactly what someone has been doing to whitewash the money:
Buy 'signature' apartments, or any other apartments in JBR.

17 May, 2007 09:38  
Anonymous Whistleblower said...

This is why they set up DIFC... to institutionalize money laundering :)

On a serious note... the rules governing the DIFC are stringent , but like everything else are circumvented with one phone call. Happens everyday.

17 May, 2007 10:05  
Blogger DubaiSalsa said...

SD... MoneyLoundry in Dubai ? its there for quite a long time now, why do you think all those russians are buying properties in Dubai ? coz develpers accept cash money which is not accepted in Europe... My friend in spain told me that The Russians were dieing to invest in Spain, but they were not able to coz its not clean money..simply they cant do a transfer... then they moved to Dubai.. i know that Deyar now is not accepting cash money for that reason....

just take a tour in Al Rigga St. you will see shops laying with the same front window arrangement for the last 5 years!!!!!! isnt this strange ? they dont sell... its another door for M.L.

cheers....

17 May, 2007 10:06  
Blogger DubaiSalsa said...

art from bart...i forgot to mention something here about malls... for your information, the profit margin for those shops might reach 1200 per cent...!!!! Do you believe that ? i have a friend in a shop in Mall of the Emirates ( without mentioning their name ) he showed me the their accountances and profit and loss ,, loss ?? no way... i mean those who r not in the money loundry are still making hell of money..

cheers

17 May, 2007 12:43  
Blogger Sunport said...

well, dubai is developing, and has a huge market, property, tourism, new businesses, you name it. Those types of crime are increasing, and in my opinion this is just the beginning of a blooming future for all the crooks in the world. The spotlight on dubai is getting brighter to everyone. First time poster/reader. Wonderful blog, love the criticism. =)

17 May, 2007 13:14  
Blogger kavi said...

good

17 May, 2007 15:20  
Blogger screwed.mind said...

well I guess making billions of dollars money laundry is not simply a matter of having a dodgy shop and buying signature apartments(and for sure not the matter of 8 people). This is just a bit of stink raising because the shit-pot is stirred perhaps someone has not been paid enough.

17 May, 2007 15:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

money laundering ? don't the banks apply all the international regulations against money laundring..they do, but as always, rules don't apply to everybody.

I don't know what the situation is in Spain, but Russians are very welcome in the South of France...only russians and gulf people can afford villas for 10-20 million Euros there. And the definition of "villa" is slightly different from the UAE definition of villa...

17 May, 2007 16:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Article tres interessant.
Dubai est une ville qui connaitra son heure de gloire quand elle sera fini.
Je pense que d'ici 5 ans ,beaucoup d'expatriés feront un passage obligé sur place.
Dubai a de beaux jours devant elle.
J'ai aussi un site interessant à vous communiquer sur la communauté des francophones de Dubai :
http://www.bonjourdubai.com

17 May, 2007 18:19  
Blogger trill_42 said...

the operation called "the arrow"?
Dhs74 billion?
letters of gratitude from police forces in several countries...?

Add this to the arrest of the Jewellery thieves last month and we have a candidate for the lead in the next made-for-tv hallmark movie.

Screenplays to 7Days please.

18 May, 2007 00:14  
Blogger Seabee said...

Today there's a report from AFP about Russia's Federal Customs Service filing a US$22.5 billion lawsuit for money laundering against - no folks, not a Dubai bank - the Bank of New York.

In November '05 the bank paid $38 million to settle a previous money laundering case.

18 May, 2007 12:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

20 billion dollars or 20 billion dirhams? the heading says dollars, but the paragraph says dirhams...

19 May, 2007 16:33  
Blogger secretdubai said...

20 billion dollars or 20 billion dirhams?

The known/suspected total money laundered by the two gangs was Dh74bn, which works out at around US$20bn. One gang did Dh20bn and the other did Dh54bn.

Though I must say I wonder how much more money may have been laundered that authorities aren't aware of.

19 May, 2007 17:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 10 minute international phone call is very interesting!

20 May, 2007 01:09  
Anonymous art from bart said...

Dubai salsa said
"i forgot to mention something here about malls... for your information, the profit margin for those shops might reach 1200 per cent...!!!!... "

Well i'm aware of that fact, but the malls I meant were very unlike Mall of the emirates, more like Burjuman, or Wafi ;)
Very expensive shops with no cilents, not to ,mension Woolworts, I mean: It is virtually empty throughout the year IN ALL BRANCHES!!

20 May, 2007 08:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

on the international call part.... you are better off still..in kuwait they charge you for receiving international calls on your local mobile phone!!!! and international calls cost twice that of what they charge in dubai....!!!!

20 May, 2007 08:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

of course, with kuwait being more expensive for phones justifies Dubai doubling its phone rates again, is this the advice you are giving. i am sick of people who always have to bring in one silly example, to justify whatever goes on here. i am sure the short memory helps to forget that rest of civilised world makes phone calls at quarter rates or less, and often for free on voip/ skype. but of course, you would have timbuctoo's example of having banned conversation of any kind at all as a comparison, thus making dubai better.

20 May, 2007 11:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now cammon, no need to get worked up. All those mega palaces, jumbo jets, superyachts. Where do you think the money comes from? Does it come from the sky? Silly.

In this country we must pamper our leaders, makes sure they live in the utmost luxury, so they can better rule us. Otherwise they just end up people like us, warts and all. We definately dont need that.
We need them to feel worthy to rule over us. If we dont give them such things, they will just run away and not rule us. We will be abondoned children. Oh! the horror of it. It does not bear thinking.

Sheikh dadada.....must be kept in the utmost luxury, and so sheikh dadada's in the neighbouring emirates. They too.

And so for their many children, their cousins, uncles, nephews, nieces, great uncles, great nieces, great grandchildren from all the countless wives. Everyone and everyone to include the whole tribe and gang. Oh yes, its gotta be that way. We must have fleets of airlines to service all of them. The public purse shall belong to them.

Now of course if you dont like it, you could always leave. That goes without saying.

20 May, 2007 17:54  
Blogger Kishor Cariappa said...

LOL :D

International calls are very expensive from Oman too!

20 May, 2007 18:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 20 May, 2007 11:08
Good one.. really good. There are some specimen who alway see the bright side. For example if one of these are drowining they'd say gurgle.. bubble.. gasp I am drowing .. but this water is better than the one in which XYZ became a fossil! Just got to live with them.

21 May, 2007 00:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You get tax free salary, cars/electronic items/ clothes etc.. much cheaper than what you get in your country and more salary....atleast pay more for phone calls...calls to south asian countries should be slashed 90% though....

21 May, 2007 10:36  
Anonymous Caracaos said...

Hehe. Love the last comment. Keep writing this - it's a blast to read!

22 May, 2007 09:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well the bit about being tax free is good to con people who dont think. everything is taxed, one way or the other in a hidden manner. your annual outflow from purse to govt in dubai is probably much higher than in most other countries. if you dont believe me, just calculate how much of your salary you ultimately get to save. nothing, probably. this is the hidden taxation in play.

as for electronics , clothes and stuff being cheap here, another hogwash. you will find lots of other countries much cheaper, many of these things are much cheaper in a place like U.S, like a computer or music system or TV.

and as for making more money than at home country, well why else would anyone even leave their home country unless you hate your own. in which case, dubai will be heaven for you. and take all the shit that comes with it.

wake up and smell the roses. dont believe everytyhing someone tells you.

22 May, 2007 11:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

''You get tax free salary, cars/electronic items/ clothes etc.. much cheaper than what you get in your country and more salary''

Hmmm, maybe the tax free salary and cheaper cars, but the days of cheaper electronic items & clothes compared to Europe are long gone. And you forgot to mention the high cost of food, and accommodation and housing 'fees' and......etc etc

22 May, 2007 12:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

& Education...

12 June, 2007 17:31  
Anonymous Dubai Property said...

Of course taxes is hight, but it`s pay for good, comfortably & safe life. For example:

The sweaty citizens of Dubai (completely inaccurate - the runny residents would be more like it) are soon to enjoy the benefits of air-conditioned bus shelters. An advertising company - of course, what other organisation could do such a thing - has been given a 10-year Build/Operate/Transfer contract to provide this facility (Emirates Today). They will initially be managing 500 out of Dubai's 1,500 bus stops. Locations are not yet decided, but if it's advertising-driven you can bet that Sonapur / Al Quoz / Al Ghusais won't be on the list.
It's all very fine, very high-tech. But I was thinking a while ago, when this concept was first mooted. Air-conditioning only really works in closed environments. The flimsy, uninsulated glass and metal structures that we use for bus shelters now (and that the new operators are proposing) are not really suitable - the energy cost will be very high.
So why not have a look at the traditional architecture of the region. Wind towers should work superbly well. You need some solid mass in the structure (absorbs the coolness of the night and slowly radiates it during the day, thereby offsetting the solar heat gain), but the wind towers deflect any breeze downwards and get the air moving. Operational energy cost: nil.
Or have a look at other alternative cooling methods (evaporative cooling is an excellent one). Combine that with solar power and you might be able to provide cool bus stops that do not require the construction of a new power station (exaggeration!). Operational energy costs: a fraction of air-conditioning.
Either way, it troubles me that the ad company are saying they'll have stuff like recycling bins at these shelters, implying that they have some interest in the environment, when their actual solution is such a serious energy guzzler - and it's actually completely the wrong solution.

26 September, 2007 17:29  

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