We dug through #DubaiLeaks files, a cache of Dubai property ownership data passed to the OCCRP.  We found properties owned by key figures involved in a fraud which in total cost the UK Treasury billions in stolen funds.

VAT fraudsters stole an estimated £16.5bn from the UK between 2005 and 2016 – and investigators told us that the flow of stolen cash went offshore to Dubai.

We identified more than 30 properties belonging to individuals whose scams had cost the UK almost £100m.

The former assistant director of the HM Revenue and Customs organised crime national coordination unit told us that Dubai’s permissive attitude to dirty cash has led to the Emirate becoming the new “Costa del Crime”.

Read our story here in the Observer published in June 2018.

Posted by Margot Gibbs

Margot Gibbs was until December 2020 an investigative journalist at Finance Uncovered specialising in UK facilitation of corruption, natural resources and the environment. She has covered corruption in the Nigerian oil industry for Africa Confidential, revealed secret contracts underpinning a private tax haven in the Marshall Islands, and produced critically-acclaimed radio for BBC Radio 4. Working with NGOs, she has investigated corruption in the arms industry and the London property market, financing of environmentally destructive palm oil projects in Indonesia, and conflicts of interest in the UK accounting regulator. She is an expert in obtaining documents via freedom of information laws and has uncovered stories which have provoked policy changes in the UK and internationally.