Two British men have been forced to remain in Dubai for the past five years due to an ongoing investigation into VAT fraud in the EU carbon market, local media reported on Tuesday.
Naveed Amir Ahmad was arrested in April 2010 after he complained that his UAE bank account had been frozen, he told Gulf News.
Another unidentified British national was arrested at Dubai airport around the same time after holidaying with his family.
Neither has been charged with a crime, Ahmad told Gulf News, adding “we have not done anything wrong … Nothing at all, it’s just speculation”.
“They had names of about 10 to 15 people who they wanted to question. I was one of them and it had something to do with Germany. I had never been to Germany. I have never worked in Germany. Nothing, I told them that,” the other man added.
A day before he was due to fly back to the UK, Ahmad said he was detained by authorities over an Interpol warrant issued by Germany over his suspected involvement in carousel fraud in the EU ETS.
Ahmad, who ran an offshore business importing and exporting electronic goods in UAE and Germany, called on authorities to charge the men, extradite them, or release them to their families.
Ahmad was in jail for nearly a month while the second man was imprisoned for more than two months before they both got bail.
The case is still under investigation, the Dubai Public Prosecution told Gulf News.
Both men said that no help has been provided by the British Embassy, a claim that was contested by an embassy spokesperson.
“We are aware of Mr Ahmad’s case. Since his arrest in 2010 we have regularly provided assistance, including raising the case with the appropriate authorities at a senior level,” the spokesperson said, according to Gulf News.
A senior prosecution source told Gulf News that 10 British suspects have been facing a pending probe over an alleged money laundering ring in Germany.
The men said that during this time they have been surviving off the charity of friends, moving from one accommodation to another.
“Literally, this is costing me my life. I have a house in the UK which got repossessed because I couldn’t pay the mortgage; I’m not able to work,” Ahmad told Gulf News.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen with this case. There’s no future. Even my family now, my mum and dad obviously they’re getting old, six years later, they have stopped asking ‘are you coming home or not?’” the other man, who has three children, added.