Abu Dhabi Criminal Court has imprisoned 40 men after they conned investors into putting money into a digital trading platform and converting their clients’ funds into a fake digital currency called Foin so the investors could not get their money back.
Investigators found the group simulated the platform in the stock market using funds collected from subscribers and shareholders, the Emirates News Agency reported.
The gang, which also ran a share-trading scheme, convinced their ‘investors’ they would receive profits between 16% and 18% per month on the invested capital.
Instead, the victims’ funds were converted into Foin, meaning they were unable to recover their capital.
The court was told the gang used the digital platform to launder money as well as commit the investment fraud and engage in unlicensed economic operations.
The investigations also found the accused conducted their operations in cash and avoided receiving cheques or money transfers from their ‘clients’.
The 40 charged were sentenced to between five and ten years in jail and were collectively fined nearly AED860m ($235m, €200m). All their assets and proceeds from the crime have been confiscated
Seventeen of the accused are Emiratis, 16 Iranian, two Indian, one Saudi, one Mauritanian, one American, one Greek and one Comorian. The 23 expatriates face deportation from the UAE.
Eight companies were also charged and were each fined AED50m.
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