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Wednesday, Feb 01, 2023

British man arrested in Dubai over £1.3bn tax fraud case and faces extradition to Denmark

British man arrested in Dubai over £1.3bn tax fraud case and faces extradition to Denmark

Sanjay Shah is accused of a fraud that allegedly saw foreign businesses pretend to own shares in Danish companies and claim tax refunds for which they were not eligible.
A British man wanted in Denmark over a £1.3bn tax case has been arrested in Dubai and now faces extradition.

The arrest of hedge fund trader Sanjay Shah, in one of Denmark's largest-ever fraud cases, comes after the country signed an agreement in March allowing for extradition there from the United Arab Emirates.

The 52-year-old has maintained his innocence in interviews with journalists while living in Dubai over recent years on the city-state's manmade Palm Jumeirah archipelago, but never appeared in Denmark to face the claims.

"We will push for an extradition as soon as possible," Danish foreign minister Jeppe Kofod said in a tweet.

It was not immediately clear if Shah had a local lawyer in the UAE.

No court date appears to have been set so far in Dubai, the commercial capital of the seven-sheikhdom federation of the UAE, and prosecutors did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It comes after Denmark's tax authority won an appeal in UK courts, following a judge's earlier decision to refuse a bid to hear the case in Britain on the grounds it was not the proper place to bring a foreign tax claim.

A spokesman once associated with Shah, who ran the firm Solo Capital Partners, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the latest development.

Shah had run a centre for autistic children in Dubai that shut down in 2020 amid the attempts by Denmark to extradite him.

He also ran the British-based charity Autism Rocks, which raises money through arranging shows by major performers.

Dubai police Brigadier General Jamal Al Jallaf said the emirate received an international arrest warrant from Denmark for Shah.

Brig Gen Al Jallaf said in a statement that Shah was accused of a fraud that allegedly saw foreign businesses pretend to own shares in Danish companies and claim tax refunds for which they were not eligible.

"The fraud scheme, known as 'cum-ex' trading, involved submitting thousands of applications to the Danish Treasury on behalf of investors and companies from several countries around the world in order to receive dividend tax refunds," Brig Gen Al Jallaf said.

Danish authorities say the scheme ran for some three years from 2012.

Denmark's justice and foreign ministries praised Dubai's arrest of Shah, whom they described in a joint statement as a target of the country's prosecutors since 2015.

Shah is one of several suspects in the tax scheme sought by Danish authorities, described as one of the largest fraud cases in the country's history.
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