Financial trader arrested in Dubai on $1.7-billion tax fraud was neighbour of Daniel Kinahan
Sanjay Shah had been living in the exclusive Palm Jumeirah which is also where Kinahan owned an exclusive apartment
A British financial trader arrested in Dubai in relation to a $1.7-billion tax refund scheme was a neighbour of Irish crime boss Daniel Kinahan, it has emerged.
Sanjay Shah, who is wanted in Denmark where he is alleged to have defrauded the Danish state, had been living in the exclusive Palm Jumeirah which is also where Irish crime boss Daniel Kinahan owned an exclusive apartment.
Mr Shah (52) has denied being a key player in the ‘cum-ex’ trading scheme that ran for three years from 2012. The alleged fraud is one of the largest such cases in Denmark’s history.
It saw foreign businesses pretending to own shares in Danish companies so they could claim ineligible tax refunds.
Mr Shah, who lived on The Palm Jumeirah, claimed he was operating within the boundaries of Danish law and denies the charges. However, he now faces extradition to Denmark.
In a clear signal to international crime lords hiding out in the UAE, Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Minister of Justice, said Shah's arrest delivers a clear message on international collaboration on law enforcement.
"International crime requires an international response,” he said in a statement to state news agency Wam.
“The arrest of Sanjay Shah, following receipt of an international arrest warrant from the Danish authorities, sends a clear signal of the UAE’s intent to work in close collaboration with international partners in pursuit of international crime.
“For the past two years, UAE authorities have worked closely with their Danish counterparts to compile a strong body of evidence in this case.
“There have been 25 legal assistance requests between the UAE and Denmark that have been executed on this particular issue.”
Mr Al Nuaimi said the general extradition treaty signed with Denmark in March 2022 is one of 37 treaties put in place in recent years - and he warned that the UAE intends to sign more.
“Through the robust, collaborative structure of partnership, the UAE is determined to disrupt organised crime in all its forms to protect the UAE and uphold the integrity of the international financial system,” he said.
The artificial island of Palm Jumeirah is also where mob boss Kinahan is the registered owner of a “beautiful 115-square-foot office," according to leaked documents.
The leaked data was made available by the Centre for Advanced Defence Studies (C4ADS), a US-based non-profit organisation that researches transnational crime.
In a special investigation, called Dubai Uncovered, it released the names of some 191,000 foreign property owners in the notorious tax haven of Dubai.
They include ex-pat criminals, tax evaders, Russian oligarchs and other shadowy figures involved in organised crime.
C4ADS has described the data as “a window into the world's largest hub for illegal activity”
Among the names listed is Daniel Kinahan, who C4ADS focussed on after he was sanctioned by the US government alongside this father Christy Snr and his brother Christopher.
In the data leak, Kinahan is listed as the owner of a sizable 115-square-metre office in the exclusive Jumeirah Bay Tower 3, located just 15 minutes’ drive from the beach.
According to their website, Jumeirah Bay Tower 3 provides "serenity" and "connectivity" for people working in the complex
They write: "With a 55 storey central hotel tower forming a striking centerpiece, the tower emotes a community atmosphere with manicured gardens, gold and diamond centre, a sparkling lake with a feature island, and special events
"It is surrounded by lakes, waterways and landscaped gardens.
"Its amenities and facilities include 24 hr security, coffee shop, internet access, restaurants, satellite connection, central a/c, light fittings, and security."
Investigators for C4ADS claim the Irish crime boss acquired this property between the spring of 2017 and January 2018 and registered it in his own name.
At the time Daniel Kinahan bought the property, the Hutch-Kinahan feud was raging on the streets of Dublin leading to 16 murders.
At least 145 international fugitives were arrested and brought to justice in the Emirates last year, thanks to co-operation between national governments, anti-crime agencies and Interpol, a Ministry of Justice newsletter revealed in February.
Arrests included that of Leon Cullen, one of Britain’s most wanted criminals, extradited to the UK in February 2021 after two years on the run in Dubai.
Cullen (33) was returned to the UK in a joint operation with UAE police, Britain’s National Crime Agency and Interpol. He was sentenced to 22 and half years for his role at the head of a crime gang responsible for supplying drugs and firearms.
Another high-profile arrest included that of Raffaele Imperiale, an alleged Naples crime lord who was arrested at his luxury villa in Dubai.
The 47-year-old international drug trafficker, who is a close associate of Daniel Kinahan, was arrested last year at his luxurious desert bolt-hole in Dubai and was finally flown to Rome in March to face charges.
Ranked number two on Italy’s most wanted fugitive list, Imperiale was arrested last August as he basked with his family by a swimming pool at his luxury villa.
As well as running a criminal organisation back in his native Italy, it is understood UAE authorities were told Imperiale ran his money-laundering operation from the Gulf.
Imperiale is considered by the Antimafia to be at the centre of an international drug trafficking route from South America-Amsterdam-Naples-Dubai.
The DEA documents described the ‘super drugs cartel’ as one of the world’s fifty largest drug cartels, with a virtual monopoly of the Peruvian cocaine trade.
The documents said the ‘super drugs cartel’ controlled around a third of the cocaine trade into Europe – with the main point of access through Dutch ports.
Members of the 'super cartel' include Kinahan and Imperiale, Balkan mob boss Edin Gacanin, jailed Dutch mafia head Ridouan Taghi and Richard 'El Rico' Riquelme Vega.
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