EY suppressed trade-based financial crime says whistleblower

One have the world’s ‘Big 4’ accounting firms deliberately turned a blind eye to trade-based financial criminality that some staff repeatedly raised concerns about according to a whistleblower.

Former EY Dubai partner Amjad Rihan says the firm suppressed his concerns about large sums of cash being paid out by businesses associated with the Kaloti gold refinery in Dubai and about gold bars that had been disguised as silver to avoid trade restrictions.

Rihan says EY had evidence of Kaloti’s involvement in smuggling by an organised crime gang that was laundering British drug money. The gang allegedly laundered money by selling 3.6 tonnes of gold to Kaloti.

Failure to report

In a recent television broadcast, investigators for the BBC Panorama programme allege that EY failed to report suspicious activity at one of the world’s largest gold refineries and then altered a compliance report to hide the crime.

The alleged operations were revealed by Rahin in 2013 while the investigations by the British broadcaster uncover new links to the drugs trade and other aspects of the gang’s operations.


Rihan was EY’s audit partner with overall responsibility for Kaloti in 2013 when he raised the issues.

Concerns were also raised at a bank connected with the refinery. Deutsche Bank’s then-head of compliance, Anna Waterhouse, spotted the transfers and raised her concerns.

Wheelbarrows of cash

Rihan, who was interviewed by the BBC and contributed to the documentary, said he saw vast quantities of cash that the gold refinery handed out in exchange for gold.

In just twelve months, Kaloti paid US$5.2 billion in cash, which staff in local banks had to use wheelbarrows to manoeuvre.

Both EY and Kaloti deny any wrongdoing.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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