ABU DHABI: The Abu Dhabi Criminal Court, which has jurisdiction over money laundering and tax evasion offences, has convicted a defendant involved in a case of laundering amounts derived from embezzlement, intentional damage to public funds, and forgery and use of forged official documents, taking advantage of his position in a public agency to create false scholarship files with the aim of defalcating funds from his employing authority, totalling some AED40 million.

The criminal court sentenced the accused to 15 years' imprisonment for committing the offences of appropriation and intentional damage to public funds, forgery and use of forged official and customary documents, restitution of the embezzled sums, and a fine equal to the sums defalcated, i.e. 40 million dirhams.

The court also imposed a ten-year prison sentence and a fine of AED10 million on him for the crime of money laundering, and ordered the confiscation of all proceeds and objects seized and linked to, used in, or resulting from the crime.

The investigations conducted by the Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution revealed that the defendant abused his professional position to commit the offences of appropriation of public funds, and attempted to hide and disguise the truth and the source of the funds derived from his criminal project, by acquiring luxury cars, registration plates with distinguished digits, valuable jewellery, and trips abroad.

In the context of this case, the Public Prosecution advocated the need to preserve public funds and to take all necessary measures to counter any attempt to appropriate or obtain such funds by fraudulent and illegal means, in such a way as to ensure the protection of the resources and capabilities of the country and the preservation of the integrity and transparency of its financial and economic system.