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”.
Our story in the Observer was published in June 2018.