Sanjay Shah in Dubai
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Dubai upholds extradition of British financier accused of £1.4bn tax fraud

(Last Updated On: April 7, 2023)

Dubai has upheld the extradition of British financier Sanjay Shah, who is accused of orchestrating a £1.4 billion tax fraud in Denmark. Shah, a hedge fund trader, has been fighting extradition to Denmark since his arrest in Dubai last year. The Court of Cassation in Dubai upheld the earlier ruling that granted Denmark’s request for his extradition, and it was not immediately clear when he would be extradited.

Tax fraud scheme

The case against Shah centers on accusations that he masterminded a scheme that ran from 2012 to 2015, in which foreign businesses pretended to own shares in Danish companies and claimed tax refunds for which they were not eligible. Shah has maintained his innocence in interviews with journalists but has not appeared in Denmark to answer accusations.

Shah’s lawyers are also appealing a separate ruling that ordered him to pay £1 billion to Denmark’s tax authority as part of a civil case in Dubai. His legal team had expressed disappointment in the earlier ruling that was upheld on Monday. However, the extradition ruling is a significant blow to his defense, and it is unclear how the case will proceed from here.

The case has garnered attention in Dubai, where Shah had been running a center for autistic children. The center closed down last year as Denmark sought his extradition. Shah also oversaw a British charity, Autism Rocks, which raised funds through concerts and performances.

Complex extradition case

The case has raised questions about the procedures laid out in international extradition treaties, with Shah’s defense arguing in closed-door hearings that Denmark did not follow the proper procedures. The Court of Cassation’s ruling suggests that the court did not find these arguments persuasive.

The case also highlights the challenges of pursuing financial crimes across international borders. The case against Shah involves multiple countries, including Denmark, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom, and coordination between these countries is crucial for successful prosecution.

Test of treaties

Dubai’s role in the case is significant, as it is the country where Shah was arrested and has been fighting extradition. Dubai has extradition treaties with several countries, including Denmark, and the Shah case is an important test of these treaties.

The case also has implications for Dubai’s reputation as a financial center. Dubai has worked hard to establish itself as a global financial hub, and high-profile cases such as this one can damage that reputation. Dubai has taken steps in recent years to strengthen its financial regulations and combat financial crime, and the Shah case highlights the importance of these efforts.

Overall, the Shah case is a complex and high-profile legal battle that has implications for multiple countries and Dubai’s reputation as a financial center. The Court of Cassation’s ruling is a significant development in the case, and it remains to be seen how the case will proceed from here.

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