When confronted by authorities, the suspects immediately confessed to the charges levelled against them.
Some 64 individuals of diverse nationalities were apprehended by Qatar’s Economic and Cyber Crimes Combating Department for masquerading as legitimate investment firms while establishing counterfeit businesses and scheming to gather substantial funds out of the country.
In a staggering revelation, law enforcement uncovered a whopping four million Qatari Riyals in their possession, along with an array of foreign currencies and a cache of electronic devices believed to be integral to their elaborate fraud scheme.
The Ministry of Interior made the announcement via its official social media channels, sharing a visual collage depicting the apprehended fraudsters alongside the sizeable stash of stolen gains and confiscated electronic devices.
“These individuals had been impersonating investment companies and establishing counterfeit businesses to illicitly gather substantial funds, intending to take the money out of the country,” the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
When confronted by authorities, the suspects immediately confessed to the charges levelled against them, the statement read.
Emphasising the gravity of the situation, the ministry underlined that both the arrested individuals and the seized items have been duly handed over to the Public Prosecution for the commencement of the necessary legal proceedings.
Qatar has launched a major crack down on corruption and other such crimes over the past years.
In July, eight individuals were arrested for allegedly duping citizens with false promises of financial gains. The scammers set up dummy companies to deceive people in violation of the law, the ministry said in a tweet.
Also in July, Qatar’s Public Prosecution referred 16 suspects, including four employees from Hamad Medical Corporation, to criminal court for their alleged involvement in various illegal activities, including bribery, Qatar News Agency reported.
These activities comprise “bribery, misuse of authority, misappropriation of public funds, infringement of tender-related freedom and safety, and engaging in money laundering,” a statement read.
An investigation found the employees took advantage of their positions within Hamad Medical Corporation by showing preferential treatment to specific companies owned by the other defendants, the statement added.
Most notably in 2021, Qatar’s former Financial Minister, Ali Shareef El Emadi was arrested over allegations of abuse of power and misuse of public funds.
At the time, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani swiftly replaced El Emadi with Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, the former Minister of Trade and Industry.
Corruption watchdog Transparency International ranks Qatar among the least corrupt in the region in 2020, with a score of 63 out of 100.