Investigation into Dubai real estate involving Hezbollah financiers and Russian Israelis
Economy

Dubai’s Real Estate Market: A Haven for Money Laundering and Illegal Activities

Dubai has been revealed as a haven for money laundering, with a database of real estate transactions showing that the emirate is home to Hezbollah activists, Palestinian Authority entrepreneurs, Irish drug lords, and Russian oligarchs, including those with Israeli citizenship. The report by the Center for Advanced Defense Studies and Western news resources specializing in investigative journalism highlights the ease with which foreign investors can purchase property in Dubai, despite concerns about the origin of capital.

Dubai’s real estate market has seen rapid growth in recent years, driven by rising prices and low taxes. However, when registering real estate transactions, information about the owners is kept secret and an investment of over $545,000 allows for a residence permit. In 2022, foreign investment in Dubai’s real estate sector reached $160 billion. Among the Palestinians who own properties are many well-known entrepreneurs as well as relatives of leaders from Fatah, the political movement in power in the Palestinian Authority.

The list also includes members of Hezbollah, such as Adham Hussein Tabha and Belgian businessman Muhammad Bazi who has been under sanctions since 2019 and was detained in Romania in 2023. The US is seeking his extradition. Other interesting characters on the list include Irish drug lord Daniel Kinahan and Isabella Dos Santos, daughter of former Angola dictator João Neto dos Santos. More than 100 Russian officials and politicians associated with Russian President Vladimir Putin are also included on the list.

While there were no Israelis listed in the 2020 registry, Israeli citizens have since appeared on the database compiled after the Abraham Accords between Israel and UAE. According to Mako website there are approximately 30 Israeli citizens on this list including entrepreneur Andrei Shandalov who was put on Russia’s wanted list but purchased property under his Israeli name Aharon Meir Ben-Haim; Khoroshavtsev (also known as Khoroshevich) – a former senator from Udmurtia who now lives in Israel; Timur Rodionov – a Ukrainian national accused of war crimes against Russians during Russia’s annexation of Crimea who now resides in Israel under house arrest after being placed on Russia’s sanctions list for war crimes against Russians during Russia’s annexation of Crimea

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