In what is believed to be the largest scam in Abu Dhabi's history, Maj Gen Maktoum Al Sharifi, director general of Abu Dhabi Police, said that 3,700 victims were duped out of AED1.3 billion.
“A total of 43 people are involved in a scam investment fund in Abu Dhabi with three main suspects as the masterminds," he said. The scam involved three portfolios, totalling AED1.3 billion,” he said at a press conference yesterday in the capital. He added that there was no investment. Victims received "profits" from their own money, while most did no due diligence on investments, he said. Social media played a big role in promoting the scam, he added.
Some 400 reports have been received by Abu Dhabi police according to the director general, and some suspects remain at large overseas. Work is underway to arrest them.
About AED53 million were seized, found hidden in a car showroom and placed in plastic bags, while AED100 million was recovered from suspects’ bank accounts. Victims initially received 70 percent to 100 percent interest or "profit". Abu Dhabi police has been working since six months on the case.
Victims are from all walks of life, with some living outside the UAE.
Sixteen car showrooms were used in the scam, with car sale transactions recorded more than 20 times in some instances.
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