7,000 fugitives brought to justice

Fugitives wanted in connection with financial crimes totalling close to Dh2 billion were among almost 7,000 people arrested in the emirate during the first eight months of the year.

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DUBAI /// Fugitives wanted in connection with financial crimes involving nearly Dh2 billion were among almost 7,000 people arrested in Dubai in the first eight months of the year.

Police issued arrest warrants for 6,840 people taken into custody between January and August, and helped to apprehend 130 people wanted by Interpol.

Most of those wanted locally were arrested in connection with financial cases. “They owed Dh1.79bn all together, said Maj Gen Khalil Al Mansouri, assistant to the Dubai Police chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs.

A European man who had Dh145 million in outstanding debt was one of those arrested.

Police also formed a special team of 25-30 people to catch one Arab fugitive. “He would jump from one emirate to the other to try and get away,” said Gen Al Mansouri. The man was arrested after 51 days on the run.

“Another Asian man had 61 warrants issued against him. He would also frequently change his place of residency. However, he was finally caught while trying to flee the country illegally.”

In addition to the 130 international arrests, 26 people wanted in Dubai were extradited to the emirate from abroad.

“Of the 130 people, 29 have already been extradited to the relevant countries in which they are wanted,” said Col Salem Al Rumaithi, deputy directory of Criminal Investigation Affairs at Dubai Police. Others are still in custody and will leave once their paperwork is completed.

“One of the 26 people extradited to Dubai was an Arab man wanted in approximately 70 different cases. He was arrested in an Asian country and sent back to us. We are still following up with international authorities on cases of people wanted in Dubai for being involved in serious crimes.”

Col Al Rumaithi said Dubai Police had strong relations with a number of international law enforcement authorities, especially in Europe and Asia.

“Even if a suspect managed to flee the country, he will sooner or later be arrested and undergo the relevant legal procedures.”

A new system to track down wanted persons, established in August under the instructions of Dubai Police chief Maj Gen Khamis Al Muzeina, also contributed to the number of arrests.

Three units were formed at Al Muraqabat, Al Qusais and Al Rashidiyah police stations, said Maj Gen Al Mansouri. “The formation of these units is to decrease the number of arrest warrants issued. They have already made a positive impact on the number of wanted persons arrested in Dubai. The teams will be stationed at those locations for three months until they achieve their objectives and will then move to other police stations.”

dmoukhallati@thenational.ae