A new shocking police document confirmed that the UAE has turned in recent years into a haven for gang leaders in light of the government’s facilitation of money laundering operations.
Dubai Police revealed that it had arrested 432 international wanted persons over the past two years on charges of criminal offences such as leading or joining criminal organizations, premeditated murder, money laundering and armed robbery.
An official statement stated that the wanted department handed over 379 international wanted persons to the claimants from 30 different countries.
It recovered 65 persons wanted from abroad for various criminal offences, such as premeditated murder, armed robbery, assault leading to death, theft of jewellery, attempted robbery and other financial crimes.
The same statement stated that the value of financial claims amounted to 517,981,823 dirhams.
The UAE has emerged at the top of an international list of tax and money laundering havens where corporations and the wealthy can legally keep money while avoiding high taxes in their countries.
A report by the Newsweek website said that the UAE possesses 0.2% of the global foreign financial services market, but it has a very high degree of confidentiality of 78.
The report showed that the UAE’s confidentiality centre is located in Dubai and includes a network of maritime facilities, free trade zones, a low tax environment and multiple secret facilities.
The report reviewed the most important of these tax havens, which are more famous than others, as the Tax Justice Network – a group that campaigns against tax evasion – studied the financial secrecy index of global tax havens.
The report scored each country according to the level of secrecy and external financial services, and degrees of secrecy were calculated based on 20 indicators represented in property registration, transparency of legal entities, tax integrity, financial regulations, and international cooperation.
In addition to the UAE, the report included the Cayman Islands, the United States of America, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Luxembourg, Japan, the Netherlands and the British Virgin Islands.
Tax havens are destinations for capital owners worldwide, where corporations and wealthy people can keep their money legally while avoiding high taxes in their countries.
As the European Microscope on Middle Eastern Policies has previously monitored, the escalation of an attack campaign in the European media against the UAE, a haven for fugitives from international sanctions for wealthy Russians.
The German Deutsche Welle Network (DW) published an extensive report on Why is the UAE a hotspot for Russians evading sanctions?
The report stated: The website of the Russian-language magazine Russian Emirates, which is based in Dubai, receives a stream of questions every day about all aspects related to living in the Emirates for Russian nationals, starting from restaurants that serve Russian food in the Emirates to clinics of doctors who speak Russian in the Gulf emirate.
However, the most popular question, which received more than 83,000 views, was: “Can I obtain Emirati citizenship?” Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the imposition of Western sanctions on the Russian economy, the number of readers and surfers of the Russian Emirates magazine has doubled, reaching 300,000 within a week.
Experts expect that the future will witness an increase in the number of surfers, especially in the context of the Russians’ efforts to avoid sanctions and preserve their wealth. In contrast, others seek to escape from a “political situation that may be fraught with danger” inside Russia.
An oil industry expert who visited Dubai last month spoke of a tangible change, saying: “There is a feeling that there is an amazing change in the rules of the game regarding the flow of capital to Dubai due to the exit of the Russians in their country and their search for safe financial havens away from Russia.”
In this context, there were reports of an increase in private air traffic from Moscow to Dubai, where a Ukrainian newspaper quoted local intelligence sources as saying that there are suspicions that Russian businessmen who are billionaires and close to the Kremlin will transfer their private property to Dubai in search of financial security.
Investigators who participated in an open-source investigation noted that many luxury yachts dock in Dubai because the UAE did not implement Western sanctions imposed on Russia. As a result, these expensive luxury yachts are so free and safe to dock there.
Despite the strong security relations between the UAE and the United States and the strategic alliance between the two countries, the UAE distanced itself from siding with any party in the Ukrainian crisis and did not participate in imposing sanctions on Russia.