The French magazine L’Obs has exposed an international tax evasion and money laundering network, which is based in the UAE. The magazine attained crucial documents (Dubai Papers) of the Helin Group of companies, under the investigation of Geneva and France courts.
Well-installed in UAE’S Ras al-Khaimah; the company’s dissimulation methods were used by at least 200 people, including European aristocrats (Michel of Yugoslavia), Italian art dealers and decorators, French patrons (including Frédéric Laporte of the Dinh Van brand) and Russian oligarchs like Vladimir Nekrasov, first vice president of Lukoil.
The Helin Group has no internet presence. It operates as a nebula of corporations and trusts, which allows the clients to make sensitive transactions covertly. The confidential documents also described the gambit of some wealthy individuals who maintained anonymity in the age of generalized tax transparency. The company also issued prepaid black cards without holder’s name, cash withdrawals, non-reimbursable fictitious loans, along with using pseudonyms to veil the identity of the principals within the group.
The L’Obs also published the interview of Helin’s former leader, François Dejardin, which uncovers the disturbing level of due diligence in the group. “At Helin, the use of nominees is widespread, far beyond anything I’ve seen in my career,” says the former manager based in Ras al-Khaimah.
“I have also signed blank papers, of which it has been done – I realize it today – an abuse. I discover that some customers’ transactions have gone through the structures of other customers.”
The French L’Obs has broadly uncovered how corruption and money laundering prevails under the nose of UAE government. For years, the riches are making tax evasions and untraceable money transfers. The company’s executives in the UAE were investigated both in France and Switzerland.
Dubai Papers have provided an insight into how laundered money was made available to high net worth individuals in the Helin Group.
Tens of millions of euros have been brewed every year, since more than two decades!