A British financier sought for huge tax fraud is extradited to Denmark from UAE

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — A Dubai-based British hedge fund trader sought by Danish authorities for allegedly orchestrating a $1.7 billion tax fraud, considered one of the largest in the Scandinavian country, has been extradited from the United Arab Emirates, officials said today.

Financier Sanjay Shah was convicted in May in Dubai of masterminding a scheme that ran from 2012 to 2015 in which foreign businesses pretended to own shares in Danish companies and claimed tax refunds for which they were not eligible. A court in the United Arab Emirates had cleared his extradition.

“It goes without saying that we as a society cannot accept that our state treasury is exposed to it,” Danish Taxation Minister Jeppe Bruus said, calling it “one of the biggest criminal fraud cases in Danish history.”

Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen added that Denmark was “sending an important signal that you cannot achieve impunity by staying abroad.”

Shah’s British lawyer Chris Waters told Danish broadcaster TV2 that his client denies any wrongdoing and “continues to doubt that he can receive a fair trial in Denmark.” His Danish lawyer, Kåre Pihlmann, told TV2 that they need to read the case file of more than 300,000 pages before deciding on their line of defense.

Today, Danish police officers traveled to Dubai to pick up Shah, the Danish Justice Ministry said.

Once on Danish soil, he will formally be arrested and Denmark’s prosecution authority will request that he be remanded in custody. A trial in suburban Copenhagen is set for Jan. 8.