Dubai court rules Sanjay Shah can be extradited to Denmark over alleged $1.7bn tax fraud

British citizen who lived in Dubai denies charges and says he was operating within Danish law

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A Dubai court on Thursday ruled that hedge fund trader Sanjay Shah can be extradited to Denmark for prosecution over an alleged $1.7 billion tax fraud.

Mr Shah, a British citizen who lived on The Palm Jumeirah, is accused of being the central player in a scheme in which foreign businesses pretended to own shares in Danish companies and claimed tax refunds for which they were not eligible.

In January, Mr Shah denied the charges and said he was operating within Danish law.

An international warrant for his arrest was received by Dubai Police on January 7 and he was arrested five months later in the emirate's Al Rafaa district.

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

"The Dubai Court of Appeal has issued a ruling to extradite Sanjay Shah, a British citizen, to Denmark," said a statement issued by Dubai Media Office on Thursday.

"Danish authorities want the suspect for alleged fraud and money laundering. The ruling follows the hearing of an appeal by the Dubai Attorney General.

"Dubai Police arrested Shah earlier this year following an extradition request from Danish authorities. The arrest and ruling align with Dubai and the UAE’s commitment to combat illegal financial activities, including money laundering, and implement global standards and policies."

Ali Al Zarouni, Mr Shah's lawyer, said his client will appeal against the extradition ruling made by Dubai Court of Appeal.

“We are disappointed in the result of the judgment handed down today," he said. "From our initial reading of the judgment, we believe that the law should be interpreted and applied in a different way.

"We now have 30 days in which to appeal today’s judgment in the Court of Cassation, the highest court in the UAE, and in our appeal we will fully explain our reasoning.

"The decision of the Court of Cassation, which we anticipate in the next two months, will be final.

"Both we and Mr Shah have full confidence in the legal system of the UAE."

In September, Dubai Court of Appeal refused Denmark’s request for the extradition of Mr Shah because of a lack of original official documentation.

Dubai's attorney general, Essam Issa Al Humaidan, appealed against this ruling, which allowed Mr Shah to remain in the emirate.

In the same month, judges in Dubai presiding over a civil lawsuit filed by the Danish government ruled that Mr Shah must repay $1.25 billion to the Danish state.

Dubai Court of Cassation, the top court in the emirate's three-tier system, in October referred the extradition case against Mr Shah back to the appeal court to be heard by a new panel of judges.

Updated: December 29, 2022, 8:10 PM