DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Dubai police said Friday they arrested and planned to extradite a British man wanted in Denmark over a $1.7 billion tax fraud case.
Dubai police identified the man as Sanjay Shah and said his arrest came after Denmark signed an agreement in March allowing for extradition between the United Arab Emirates and Denmark.
Shah has maintained his innocence in interviews with journalists while living in Dubai over the last few years, but never appeared in Denmark to answer the accusations.
It wasn't immediately clear if Shah, 52, had a local lawyer in the Emirates. A court date did not appear to have been immediately set in Dubai, the commercial capital of the seven-sheikhdom federation of the UAE. Prosecutors did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday, the start of the Emirati weekend.
In a statement, Dubai police Brig. Gen. Jamal Al Jallaf said the emirate received an international arrest warrant from Denmark for Shah. Al Jallaf said Shah was accused of a fraud that 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,” Al Jallaf said.
In a joint statement, Denmark's Justice and Foreign Ministries praised Dubai's arrest of Shah, whom they described had been a target of the country's prosecutors since 2015.
“The Danish Treasury has been cheated for a staggering amount, and of course it should not be possible for suspected perpetrators to hide in the Middle East and thus avoid being held accountable in a Danish courtroom,” Justice Minister Mattias Tesfaye said.
“Now I am awaiting the legal process in the United Arab Emirates, and crossing my fingers that it will end up that we can get Sanjay Shah on a plane to Denmark, so he can be prosecuted in this country.”
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.
Associated Press writer Jan Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this report.
Malak Harb And Jon Gambrell, The Associated Press