UAE court orders British hedge fund trader to pay Denmark $1.2 bn for tax fraud

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A Dubai court has ordered a British hedge fund trader convicted of massive fraud to pay Denmark’s tax authority over $1.2 billion, according to a copy of the ruling seen by AFP.

Sanjay Shah was arrested in the United Arab Emirates’ financial hub in June upon request by Danish authorities who accuse him of helping companies fraudulently claim tax refunds.

Shah was accused of running the scheme for three years starting in 2012, in which foreign firms pretended to own shares in Danish companies and claimed refunds.

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In its final ruling on Tuesday, the Dubai Court of Cessation ordered Shah to pay 4.643 billion dirham ($1.26 billion), according to a copy of the ruling seen by AFP on Wednesday.

Together with a court-ordered five-percent interest accrued from when the case was first lodged in August 2018, the total sum should be close to the losses incurred by the Danish tax authority as a result of the scam, estimated at 1.7 billion euro.

Shah’s lawyers were not immediately available for comment.

“This conclusive ruling after a nearly five-year pursuit of justice underscores the serious and uncompromising stance of the UAE authorities against financial misconduct,” said OGH Legal, a Dubai-based firm representing the Danish authorities.

“The process of execution in terms of how this money will be paid back to (Denmark’s tax agency) SKAT has already been initiated,” it added in a statement on Wednesday.

Shah has claimed innocence and argued he had not violated Danish law, according to media reports in the UAE.

He was arrested by Emirati authorities under an extradition treaty signed with Denmark in March 2022.

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