A Dubai court has ordered an accountancy firm EY to pay damages in the tune of $10.8m to Amjad Rihan. Rihan discovered payment of $5.2bn cash in 2012 by Kaloti, Dubai’s biggest gold refiner. Rihan led an audit which was convinced that the payment was a scheme of money laundering. EY was nailed in the scheme for knowing about the movement of such money without reporting to the authority.
A 2019 investigation by BBC Panorama showed that the smuggled gold uncovered by Rihan belonged to a criminal gang. The gang which was reported to be laundering money for British drug dealers had collected cash from drug dealers in the UK and other European countries. Documents viewed by Panorama and Premieres Lignes argued that Renade International sold $146m of gold to Kaloti in 2012 alone. Panorama saw several drafts of a Kaloti compliance report to a Dubai regulator where it acknowledged engaging in purchase irregularities.
The court ruled that EY breached the code of Ethics for Professional Accountants and it must protect Rihan against economic loss. The court consequently awarded Rihan $10,843,941 in US dollars and £117,950 in damages. While reacting to the judgment, Rihan said his seven years of pain with his family have been rewarded by the court vindication. Paul Dowling, who solicited for Rihan expressed his delight over his client’s victory as he claimed justice won. Meanwhile, EY has expressed its disappointment at the judgment and said it will appeal the ruling.