A deep-rooted conspiracy targeting children in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is getting deepened with the nefarious target of indulging them towards gambling, drugs and even sexual activities.
According to information, several online casino sites have already started operating in the Emirates, while there also are online sites luring children towards drug addiction and improper sexual behavior including LGBT.
While gambling is strictly prohibited in Dubai, a large number of crypto scammers are continuing to land in the city with bundles of scam projects, including crypto scams, MLM (Multi-Level Marketing), Ponzi schemes, and gambling/gaming/betting while several UAE newspapers such as the Gulf News, Arabian Business have no shame in promoting such scammers by publishing lengthy promotional/sponsored posts.
It may be mentioned here that, Islam is the official religion of the country, pursuant to the Constitution of the UAE. As gambling is prohibited in Islam, this forms the basis for the federal and local emirate laws that prohibit all forms of gambling, as well as the advertising of any form of gaming. Meaning, that for any Emirati newspaper running a sponsored or paid promotional post in favor of anyone running gambling, gaming, or betting site is tantamount to legal consequences. But the unfortunate fact is, that these newspapers are continuing to violate Emirati laws while Dubai is already becoming a hub of scammers, frauds, and criminals.
According to information, a Chechen national named Ilman Shazhaev (29) runs an online casino/gaming site named Farcana with an office at Downtown Dubai, Saaha Office C, Office 405, 4 floor, Dubai, UAE, and this company allows its subscribers to gamble online by using cryptocurrency.
On its LinkedIn profile of Farcana, this company has clearly mentioned itself as a “Blockchain Services”, meaning, it is directly involved in the crypto sector. It also claims to have 51-200 employees, although there is no evidence of any employee in this sham project except for its owner.
According to sponsored post in the Gulf News (gulfnews.com), Arabian Business (arabianbusiness.com), and other sites, Ilman Shazhaev, who is a resident of the United Arab Emirates is a “multitasking techpreneur” who was “born and raised in the Russian republic of Chechnya, came to Dubai just three years ago before the pandemic-induced lockdown began”.
It may be mentioned here that, Chechen Muslim Ilman Shazhaev’s company Farcana does not have any office in China, Malaysia, and Russia despite his claim of having businesses in those countries. It may also be mentioned here that, gambling is strictly prohibited in China and Malaysia.
In the sponsored post, Ilman Shazhaev of Farcana is quoted saying: “When I moved here, I had already started companies in China, Malaysia, and Russia and had to run and manage my businesses remotely from Dubai”.
Following his arrival in Dubai, Ilman Shazhaev found the country most convenient for running an online casino, gaming, and betting businesses as local Emirati newspapers such as the Gulf News are enthusiastically and continuously promoting such illegal activities simply in exchange for substantial financial benefit.
So within just two months after his arrival, he set up a health tech company to provide services in the healthcare sector. As the UAE economy bounced back post-pandemic, so did Shazhaev. This year in January, he launched Farcana, a blockchain-based gaming metaverse in Dubai.
Ilman Shazhaev in his sponsored “interview” said: “My work schedule is often overloaded, but the results inspire me“, which again proves, being in Dubai he finds it the most convenient place to run his activities.
According to the Gulf News and Arabian Business, Ilman Shazhaev “spent nine years at universities and combined studies”, while he is quoted saying: “I earned my Bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering at the Moscow State Technical University and my MS in engineering at Harbin Institute of Technology in China. I then started my Ph.D. program at Shanghai Jiao Tong University”.
He also said: “In my first university, I was soon promoted from a lab technician to an engineer and engaged in various projects for private companies and the government. This experience taught me to build connections between science and business, and I succeeded in winning several public grants”.
According to the sponsored post, back in 2017, Ilman Shazhaev “set up OneBoost – a digital asset management company that supplied mining equipment and built data centers in China; then expanded it to other markets and opened branches in Malaysia and Russia”.
A careful study of the above-mentioned report shall evidently prove – Ilman Shazhaev’s company Farcana is luring people, including children to make money through video gaming. Meaning, that it is clearly a gambling site, which according to Emirati law is a forbidden and punishable offense.
According to our information, the Gulf News and a few other Emirati newspapers, especially Gulf News are continuously promoting online gambling and betting sites in exchange for financial gain. We are retaining evidence against our claims and shall be able to provide such crucial evidence to the relevel authorities in the United Arab Emirates if they at all are interested in taking legal action against those Emirati newspapers and operators of online casinos, gambling, and betting sites.
Illegal casinos in the UAE
On August 30, 2022, Firstpost published a report promoting online casinos in Dubai. According to the report, there are several online casinos in Dubai, which include, Spin Casino, Europa, Bet Final, Jackpot City, BitStarz, 888 Casino, Casino[dot]com, 1xBet, Mr. Play, and Casino Cruise.
Business Insider African has also published a promotional report on online casinos in Dubai.
In July 2022, Dubai Police raided an illegal casino located in a Dubai villa. When a tip came into the police station in Al Rashidiya, the activity came to a grinding halt. Police raided the property, uncovering poker and roulette tables with no shortage of customers. The surprise assault was part of a larger plan Dubai is undertaking to try to eliminate illegal gambling across the emirate. As they entered, the officers discovered an elaborate setup spanning both floors of the two-story villa. It even had a cashier and surveillance cameras throughout the property and food and beverage service. This illegal casino was run by nationals from China, Ethiopia, India, and Nigeria.
In June 2022, the UAE’s legal position on gambling and its adverse effects on society were highlighted by Dubai Police officials during a security awareness community workshop at the Dubai Police Officer’s Club in Dubai recently.
The workshop was organized by Dubai Police, in cooperation with the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC).
The event was attended by Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jalaf, Director of the General Department of Criminal Investigation (CID) at Dubai Police, Li Xuhang, Consul General of China in Dubai and Fathiya Al Bastaki, a representative from the MOFAIC.
Major Dr Saud al-Khalidi from the Organized Crime Department and Captain Ahmed Al Zarouni from the Crime Prevention Department, said whoever gambles shall be punished by detention for a maximum period of two years or by a fine not exceeding Dh20,000. Also, imprisonment or a fine shall be imposed if the crime occurs in a public place, a place open to the public, or in a place or house prepared for gambling, according to Articles 414 and 415 of the Federal Law No. (3) of 1987 Promulgating the Penal Code.
Moreover, punishment by imprisonment for a maximum period of 10 years shall be imposed upon anyone who opens or runs a place for gambling and prepares such a place for the admission of people, as well as anyone who organizes any game of gambling in a public place or any place or house prepared for such a purpose.
The workshop also addressed several other issues.
According to an expert, the UAE prohibits all forms of online gambling within its territory. However, there are no online gambling laws against offshore online casinos. Therefore, players in Dubai can use a VPN to play at these casinos and use the currency of their choice to make payments. It may be mentioned here that, using VPN also is prohibited in the country.
On September 27, 2022, UAE-based newspaper the Khaleej Times published sponsored article titled ‘MaziMatic: A metaverse dedicated to entertainment and games’ which is written by one Faiz Qureshi, who claims to be a “Bollywood Producer”. First two paragraphs of this sponsored post said:
Technology has evolved radically in the last few years. As the world is progressing, Web 3.0 is taking over every industry with cryptocurrency playing a crucial role in varied fields like finance, art and real estate. No wonder, metaverse, NFTs and crypto tokens are different entities which are contributing to the growth of others. Among all these, online gaming have become a centre of attraction with MaziMatic being one of the most talked about works in the digital space.
MaziMatic is the world’s first multi-entertainment mixed reality metaverse which is powered by the MaziMatic token. Intending to offer advanced gaming and entertainment, the project has NFT collections and different virtual worlds for endless entertainment like Casinoverse, Partyverse, Adventureverse, Influencerverse, and Tradingfloor. Backed by top-notch experts from the blockchain and fintech industry, MaziMatic promises to offer a one-of-a-kind virtual lifestyle for players.
According to our information, an individual named Navin Kejriwal is running this show. His company ‘MaziMagic’ at the first step is going to launch a casino in metaverse and then in the second step Navin Kejriwal introduces “Partyverse” which will be followed by a third phase.
The initial investment for public is US$2,500, US$7,000 and US$ 10,000. Anyone willing to join the online casino of Navin Kejriwal has to buy any of these packages. In exchange of investment is cash, what is also called fiat currency, Navin Kejriwal and his gang are offering their own cryptocurrency. Anyone buying ‘MaziMatic token’ from the company of Navin Kejriwal, which is actually a cryptocurrency, shall not be able to sell it minimum for one year.
This newspaper sent an email to Navin Kejriwal and his ‘MaziMatic’ on September 27, 2022 seeking their answer as to how they are launching online casino business in the United Arab Emirates, as Islam is the official religion of the country, pursuant to the Constitution of the UAE.
Selling drugs in UAE through messaging apps
Buying drugs online in UAE can invite restrictions on financial transaction with buyers being banned from wiring and depositing money for two years after they have served their sentence, according to the UAE anti-narcotics law.
According to our investigation it was revealed that drug peddlers are selling drugs to UAE residents, which include even school-going children mostly through messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram etcetera. Typically, messages from drug traffickers that are sent to people in the UAE are in Arabic. They show a piece of an illegal narcotic substance with a text saying: “Salam Alaykum my friend. Hashish, Crystal, Lyrica, Tramadol, everything available”.
Our reporters have spotted some areas in Dubai city, such as Deira, Al-Satwa, Al-Nahda, International City (France Cluster and Italy Cluster) where
Hashish, Meth and Mushroom are being sold through discreet channels mostly by African nationals (Nigerian and Ugandans). Illegal drugs are also being sold in several nightclubs, including B2 Discotheque.
Most of these drug peddlers are African nationals, while there also are Iranians, Lebanese, Jordanian and Pakistani nationals who are involved in such notorious crimes.
Secret prostitution in UAE
While prostitution is officially prohibited in the United Arab Emirates, a large number of crime rackets are involved in pimping sex to UAE nationals, including minors. These rackets take girls from several countries mainly into Dubai with tourist or work visas. On their arrival, these girls are first provided jobs as receptionists or waitresses in four-star, three-star or cheaper hotels. But after some time, they are forced to work at dance clubs and finally as prostitutes. Some of these girls also are pushed into UAE residents as domestic help, while they are instructed by their agents to lure the male members of the families, including minors towards sex. In most cases, guardians of these families are fully unaware of their boys being lured by the female or male domestic help towards sexual activities. Generally, these domestic helps engage into sexual activities with the minors in exchange for valuables and cash. They also lure them towards sodomy and oral sex. Such illegal activities are main run by Pakistani nationals. These rackets have females mainly from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines. There also are illegal prostitution rackets, which supply girls from Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Iran, Lebanon, Tunisia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and India to prospective customers mostly through online services. Gang-leaders also run private brothels inside apartments mostly in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.