Thirteen members of a financial crime ring have been given prison sentences by a Dubai court over an elaborate Dh185 million money laundering scheme.
The gang of international fraudsters stole large cash payments, intended for an Emirati law firm, from major clients over a period of six years.
The Dubai Court of Misdemeanours heard how the group established three shell companies and duped clients into believing they belonged to the law company.
They issued fake invoices and receipts to the unwitting victims in order to obtain the cash.
The funds were then transferred to accounts set up by the criminal enterprise.
Some of the gang members worked for the law firm, within its intellectual property department.
The clients targeted included car manufacturer BMW, a major car agency in the UAE, a Swiss watches group, and Japanese Kyocera Group, court records showed.
The defendants comprised four Jordanians, three Indians, two Egyptians, two from the Philippines, an Emirati, a Canadian, a Briton and a Moroccan.
They were found guilty of charges including money laundering, fraud and forgery, with 13 given prison terms of between one and three years.
Two of the group's members were fined Dh20,000 each for their roles in the crime.
The three shell companies were each fined Dh500,000.
The court ordered the confiscation of all assets owned by the defendants to help recover the laundered amounts.
Court documents showed the defendants transferred the money through a number of banks and exchange centres to people in Egypt, Morocco, Jordan among other countries.
Some of those people were identified while the identities of others remain unknown.
The verdict, which was issued on March 31, remains subject to appeal within two weeks.