Thirteen Indian nationals, including seven companies owned by them, have been convicted of money laundering and tax evasion by the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court, a media report said.
The court found them guilty of laundering Dh510 million involving unlicensed provision of credit facilities through points of sale (POS), the Khaleej Times reported last week.
Four of the Indians were sentenced to jail terms ranging from five to 10 years, followed by deportation, and the court ordered them to pay fines ranging from Dh5 million to Dh10 million.
The seven companies involved in the crime were each fined Dh10 million.
According to investigations, the Indians had set up a "criminal organisation" and used the headquarters of a travel agency to carry out unlicensed economic activities through which they had reportedly gained over half a billion dirhams.
They would pay customers in cash and then use their credit cards to make fake purchases through their companies' POS, the Khaleej Times reported.
In some cases, they would also assist customers settle credit card debts by depositing cash into their accounts, making another fraudulent POS transaction, and then deducting an interest amount.
According to bank transaction reports and financial analysis statements issued by the Financial Information Unit (FIU), an unusually high volume of cash flow into and out of the bank accounts of the defendants and their companies was noticed in a short period of time.
In December last year, six companies were fined Dh3.2 million for breaching anti-money laundering laws.