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Top crypto scammers liquidate $4 billion worth of Dubai properties despite facing charges

11:45 PM | 18 May, 2024
Crypto scammers property sold in dubai

Dubai’s luxurious property market has come under intense scrutiny as it was revealed that self-proclaimed "CryptoQueen" Ruja Ignatova and her security adviser, Frank Schneider, managed to liquidate their assets in the city despite facing significant charges in the United States for their alleged roles in a $4 billion fraud. The current whereabouts of both individuals remain unknown.

The investigative project Dubai Unlocked, which includes multiple media outlets, uncovered leaked property data showing that Ignatova’s penthouse apartment in Dubai was sold in late 2019. This sale occurred two years after her OneCoin cryptocurrency scam collapsed and she was charged in the US.

Frank Schneider, who had previously acquired real estate in Dubai after OneCoin crypto scam, sold his apartment for $2.3 million in January 2022. This transaction happened despite Schneider being under house arrest in France and facing extradition to the US.

Schneider, a former director of operations for Luxembourg’s spy service, is accused of aiding in evading law enforcement and managing the proceeds of the OneCoin scheme, as per a US indictment.

The sales of these properties raise serious questions about Dubai’s enforcement of anti-money laundering regulations. Both Ignatova and Schneider were charged with criminal offenses in the US after the collapse of OneCoin. The leaked property records indicate that their properties were sold after they had been charged, casting doubts on Dubai’s regulatory effectiveness.

Ignatova purchased her 500-square-meter apartment through a shell company, selling the property in December 2019 while she was wanted by prosecutors in New York. Schneider’s Palm Jumeirah flat was sold for $2.3 million in January 2022, even though he was under house arrest in France.

Dubai’s permissive regulatory environment has long been criticized for its lack of enforcement and oversight, making it a haven for individuals seeking to conceal proceeds from criminal activities. Despite laws requiring realtors to conduct background checks and report suspicious transactions, the sale of properties belonging to individuals with criminal charges raises concerns about Dubai’s commitment to combating financial crime.

Arab media sources reported that UAE officials and Dubai Police did not respond to detailed inquiries about the sale of properties belonging to Ignatova and Schneider. UAE embassies in the UK and Norway issued a brief statement affirming the country’s commitment to disrupting illicit finance but did not provide specific details regarding the case.

The author is a staff member.

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Currency Rates in Pakistan - Pak Rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, Riyal - 25 June 2024

Pakistani rupee rates against US Dollar and other currencies on June 25, 2024 (Tuesday) in open market.

USD to PKR Rate Today

US dollar was being quoted at 277.5 for buying and 280.65 for selling.

Euro's buying rate stands at 293.5 and selling rate is 297.2 while British Pound rate is 348.5 for buying, and 351.45 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75.05 and Saudi Riyal at 72.95.

Currency Rates in Pakistan

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.5 280.65
Euro EUR 293.5 297.2
UK Pound Sterling GBP 348.5 351.45
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.05 75.85
Saudi Riyal SAR 72.95 73.85
Australian Dollar AUD 182.2 184
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.58 748.58
Canadian Dollar CAD 203 205
China Yuan CNY 38.35 38.75
Danish Krone DKK 39.91 40.31
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.67 36.02
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.9 1.98
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 907.74 916.74
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 59.07 59.67
New Zealand Dollar NZD 170.38 172.38
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.38 26.68
Omani Riyal OMR 723.26 731.26
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.5 77.2
Singapore Dollar SGD 72.95 73.85
Swedish Korona SEK 26.5 26.8
Swiss Franc CHF 311.53 314.03
Thai Bhat THB 7.58 7.73

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