U.K. authorities recovered more than 300,000 pounds ($498,000) from the sale of a convicted drug trafficker’s home in Dubai in the first such confiscation involving the United Arab Emirates.
The apartment in Dubai Marina was owned by Redwan El-Ghaidouni, 37, who was convicted at Kingston Crown Court in March 2011 on drug charges, the Crown Prosecution service said in a statement on its website.
A confiscation order in 2012 for about 417,000 pounds, was fully satisfied by the sale and the money was transferred to the British public purse under an asset-sharing agreement with the U.A.E., according to the CPS statement.
Dubai’s housing market, with its international clientele and high volume of cash purchases, provides an opportunity for people looking to hide illegally earned money. The CPS currently has asset-recovery advisers working in the U.A.E. and Spain and plans to add three more advisers to focus on Europe, the Caribbean and South Africa, according to the statement.
“Criminals often consider that hiding money overseas is a safe bet and that their assets will be untouchable,” Gary Balch, the CPS’s deputy chief prosecutor for crime proceeds, said in the statement. “They are mistaken and should take note of today’s result.”
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