Dubai, United Arab Emirates — A Briton accused by Denmark of orchestrating a $1.7 billion tax evasion has been ordered by a court in Dubai to pay $1.25 billion to tax authorities in Copenhagen, according to court documents seen on Friday, a few just days after another court in Dubai rejected an extradition order against him.
The Dubai Court of Appeal’s order against Sanjay Shah is part of a civil case filed four years ago by the Danish tax authorities, who were suing him as part of their investigation into one of the most important cases of tax evasion in the country.
Shah has maintained his innocence in the case while fighting extradition. Lawyers representing Shah in the separate civil case did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.
Denmark accused Shah of orchestrating an elaborate three-year tax scheme from 2012 involving foreign companies claiming to own shares in Danish companies and demanding tax refunds for which they were not eligible.
Denmark’s tax authority, Skattestyrelsen, filed a civil suit against Shah in 2018 through a local law firm in Dubai. In its ruling on Wednesday, the Dubai Court of Appeal said Denmark had demanded $1.9 billion from Shah and his alleged accomplices.
Shah’s lifestyle on the luxurious palm-shaped island of Dubai in recent years had sparked outrage in Denmark. After Danish authorities signed an extradition agreement with the United Arab Emirates, Dubai police arrested Shah in June. Shah is one of several suspects in the tax scheme sought by Danish authorities.
While in Dubai, the hedge fund manager ran a center for autistic children which closed in 2020 as Denmark tried to extradite him. He also oversaw a UK charity, Autism Rocks, which raised funds through concerts and performances.
On Monday, another court in Dubai ruled that Shah could not be extradited to Denmark to face charges. Lawyers representing Shah in the case told The Associated Press on Thursday that prosecutors have filed an appeal seeking to overturn the decision.
The extradition case for Shah comes as pressure mounts on Dubai, the region’s financial hub, over its alleged weaknesses in tackling illicit finance.
The United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven emirates, has long invited the wealthy, including disgraced public figures, to invest in the country without questioning where they earned their money. Dubai’s scrutiny has intensified as the flashy city-state becomes a haven for Russian money amid Moscow’s war on Ukraine.
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