Dubai court rejects request to extradite Sanjay Shah over $1.7bn tax fraud case

Case is open to appeal by Danish authorities

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 20 September 2017. CEO of Autism Rocks Mr Sanjay Shah at his offices in DIFC (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Suzanne Clocke. Section: Business.
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A Dubai court on Monday refused Denmark's request to extradite British hedge fund trader Sanjay Shah over an alleged $1.7bn tax fraud.

The court requested on Friday that authorities submit the necessary documentation for the extradition.

Denmark's tax authority alleges that Mr Shah, a British citizen, was a central player in a scheme in which foreign businesses pretended to own shares in Danish companies and claim tax refunds for which they were not eligible.

In its ruling on Monday senior judge Rashid Al Smairi said that according to article (11) of the Law on International Judicial Co-operation, original copies of all official investigations carried out must be attached to the extradition request.

He said the copies must include records of witnesses’ testimonies signed by them and by police officers, details of the arrest, inspections and other evidence, such as accounting and technical reports related to proving the accusation against the person.

The case is open to appeal but lawyer Ali Al Zarouni, representing Mr Shah, told The National he believed it was unlikely Danish authorities will be successful.

“The file of the case is closed. They can't add documents in the Court of Cessation. There is no way in this file to add any papers,” said Mr Al Zarouni.

“We followed the law and the court applied the law. As I said before, there were breaches from the Danish side.

“Prosecutors [acting on behalf of Danish authorities] will most probably appeal. We will wait the period of 30 days to see what will happen.”

Mr Al Zarouni will now file for bail for Mr Shah, 52, who has been in custody since his arrest by Dubai Police in June on an international arrest warrant from authorities in Denmark.

“I don’t think there are any reasons to deny bail after this judgment. Our client has been in the country for a very long time and never tried to escape and faces what comes his way,” he said.

In January, Mr Shah, who lived on The Palm Jumeirah and ran a centre for autistic children, denied the charges and said he was operating within Danish law.

The international warrant was received by Dubai Police on January 7 and he was arrested five months later in the emirate's Al Rafaa district. He was denied bail by prosecutors in Dubai.

The arrest came after the signing of an extradition agreement between the UAE and Denmark.

Investigations by senior prosecutor Ismail Madani lasted about two months before the case was referred to court.

Updated: September 12, 2022, 8:35 AM