DUBAI - The United Arab Emirates has begun the extradition process of a British citizen to Denmark who is suspected of defrauding Danish tax authorities of over $1 billion, a UAE official said on Wednesday.
Sanjay Shah is suspected of running a scheme that involved submitting applications to the Danish Treasury on behalf of investors and companies from around the world for dividend tax refunds worth more than 9 billion Danish crowns ($1.32 billion).
Shah, arrested in Dubai in June, denies any wrongdoing. On Monday the emirate's state media office said its attorney had rejected Shah's appeal against his extradition.
"We note the decision by the Dubai Court of Cassation to reject the appeal of Sanjay Shah ... The extradition process will now begin," the UAE official said in a statement sent to Reuters that did not specify a timeframe.
Britain's foreign ministry told Reuters on Monday that it had been providing consular assistance to a British man following his arrest in Dubai in June 2022 and that they were in contact with the local authorities.
The UAE has in the past couple of years signed a raft of extradition treaties, including with Denmark in March 2022, as it worked to overcome an image as a hotspot for illicit money.
Global financial crime watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in March 2022 included the UAE, the region's commercial and trade hub, on a list of jurisdictions subject to increased monitoring, known as its 'grey' list.
FATF in a 2020 report on the UAE said the Gulf state had "provided mutual legal assistance (MLA) and extradition to a minimal extent considering its exposure to foreign predicate offences and associated proceeds of crime".
The Emirati official said that this year 30 extradition requests were approved by the UAE.
It has 37 fully ratified extradition treaties and 8 pending full ratification, 45 bilateral Mutual Legal Assistance (MLAs) agreements and is committed to honouring "the letter and spirit" of them, the official added.
(Writing by Lisa Barrington Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)