Why Dubai is the MLM scam capital of the world
Although it’s always had a reputation for harboring scammers, over the past year and a half Dubai cemented itself as the MLM scam capital of the world.
This coincided with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas most countries effected some sort of border control, Dubai has remained open for visitors.
This has seen practically every scam looking to hold live events flock to the desert city.
Dubai as a city doesn’t have much going for it. It’s in the middle of nowhere with an unfavorable climate. If you’re into the artificial however, Dubai offers the pinnacle of superficial indulgence.
That alone isn’t enough to lure in the world’s scammers though. Dubai’s attraction for them runs deeper.
The two main reasons you’ll see scammers flock to Dubai is a lack of extradition treaties and no regulation of MLM related fraud.
Dubai is part of the United Arab Emirates (the UAE). The UAE has extradition treaties with only a small number of countries;
An example of a multilateral treaty signed and ratified by the UAE for judicial co-operation is the Riyadh Arab Convention on Judicial Co-operation, which was signed by most Arab countries including Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.
In addition, examples of bilateral treaties signed and ratified by the UAE for judicial co-operation are numerous and include agreements with Australia, China, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Pakistan, Spain and the United Kingdom.
None of the Arab countries above are known for active MLM regulation. Of the other countries listed, with the exception of Spain, again you have a list of countries where MLM regulation is either non-existent, or typically limited to national cases.
Once a scammer flees their native country for Dubai, these countries don’t pursue the matter. And these scammers know it.
Within Dubai, so long as they don’t target UAE locals, scammers are free to scam anyone from anywhere.
Walk down the street with a beer in Dubai and they’ll throw you in jail. Steal hundreds of millions of dollars through an MLM Ponzi scheme, and royal families will work with you to conceal that money.
For a price, they’ll also offer you shelter from pesky authorities trying to hold you accountable.
That’s for the MLM underbelly elite though. Most of the fraudsters we document on BehindMLM are safe enough just relocating to Dubai.
With respect to local regulation of MLM fraud in the UAE, there is none. So long as you scam people outside the UAE, Dubai’s authorities won’t lift a finger against you.
Again, the scammers relocating there know this.
In addition to individuals, over the past few years we’ve also seen Dubai favored as a jurisdiction to open head offices in. This is for the same reasons scammers flock to to the emirate.
For marketing purposes, Dubai sounds exotic and certainly its artificial nature makes for great photo opportunities.
Where better to project wealth to unsuspecting victims than a city built on and geared towards showcasing wealth?
While here at BehindMLM we’re hyperfocused on MLM, outside of this niche others have noted the same trend we have.
The Gulf city of Dubai has been slammed as a “money laundering paradise” by leading anti-corruption group Transparency International. – Forbes Feb 2019
Dubai dubbed new ‘Costa del Crime’ where money talks and British gangsters flock – The Mirror Feb 2021
Israeli criminals ‘flee to Dubai’ to escape arrest at home – The New Arab Dec 2020
While there have been some inroads to chasing down high profile criminals (high profile = media attention), MLM scammers aren’t a priority.
What we’re left with is a jurisdiction MLM scammers can safely flock to and hold promotional events at, obtain bank accounts to launder money through and enjoy creature comforts they’re accustomed to.
Fleeing to Dubai effectively has no compromises, other than day to day living costs.
Not really an issue when you’re living off other people’s stolen money.
From an MLM due-diligence perspective, until things change these are some general rules that I’ve found hold true:
- Any time you see someone involved in MLM relocating to Dubai, they’re more than likely running from a collapsed scam and/or authorities.
- Any time you see an MLM company holding an event in Dubai, it’s a scam.
- If an MLM company has a head office in Dubai, it’s a scam.
- If someone is running an MLM company from Dubai, it’s a scam.
There are limited exceptions to these rules. Outside of the COVID-19 pandemic for example, I’d be a little less harsh on MLM companies holding events in Dubai.
During the pandemic however, Dubai’s reputation as a safe haven for criminals has only gotten worse.
Here at BehindMLM we’ll continue to do our full due-diligence when reviewing MLM companies. When I see Dubai pop up I do shift gears and assume I’m dealing with a scam, but it’s never the primary reason for identifying an MLM company as one.
That is always going to be the company’s business model.
I’ve found myself increasingly referring to Dubai as the MLM scam capital of the world, as it continues to pop up over and over again in my research.
Rather than just say so, I thought this would be a good article to put together to explain why.
That way I can link to it and hopefully more people become aware of what lies beneath Dubai’s glitzy surface.
One last thing to note is that, while Dubai is currently the MLM scam capital of the world and has been for some time, that’s not necessarily always going to be the case.
Five years or so ago Thailand was the destination of choice for MLM scammers.
In the event Dubai cleans its act up or some other jurisdiction emerged as the new MLM scam capital, I’ll leave an update below along with a 2021 date-stamp in this article’s title.
Hey oz, when you say “here at BLM, “we”…” is there a whole team or is it a royal we?. and also, where do i sign up?
Well there’s me, there’s BehindMLM and then dear readers. I play pretty lose with pronouns. Depends how I’m feeling.
loose with pronouns.. in 2021, you like living dangerously don’t you.
Just the article I needed. I’m sick and tired of Reddit anti/MLM commenters saying that 95% of MLMers are women.
That’s your typical American disregarding the rest of the world; I’m American, so I can say it.
I swear they think all MLM companies only sell lotions and potions to affiliates, and are headquartered in Utah.
I’ve linked your site many times on Reddit to hopefully give them a more global view of the MLM scam.
It’s a worldwide problem, and many men are also participants willing to “scam or be scammed”.
The 6000 MLMs in the states are generally the insidious “barely legal or pushing it types”, and the women stereotype is because it’s often women staying-at-home with the kids or needing to become secondary breadwinner and getting fleeced in a get-rich scheme.
Would be interesting to get research on the ratio of male to female MLM joiners in general.
Thankfully websites don’t have genders. Yet.
An admittedly old statistic said of those earning $100k or more in MLM, 80% are women. So there’s that.
Of course, the MLM-ers grabbed ahold of that statistic and rewrote it for their own purposes, saying 80% of women earning $100k or more annually are in MLM.
Utter bullshit, of course, but they never let truth get in the way of making a dishonest dollar.
I heard Brian McGinty relocated to Dubai. Anyone know if it is a fact?
Cases like this are why Thailand and SEA were abandoned by scammers in favor of Dubai:
What will happen when enough multi-million dollar scams lead to Dubai? Unfortunately all we can do is wait and see.
Worth a watch:
Dubai Is A Parody Of The 21st Century
From the comments:
Imagine scamming people to the extent you have to go on the run, to a lawless cesspool built on human misery. What a life.
Hypefund is relocating to Dubai!!!
This is stated in their latest FAQ’s.
Like Oz said, it won’t always be like this. Dubai will turn a blind eye for a few years.
Then there will be a crackdown and all the MLM scammers, and those who thought they were safe with connections to the royals, will suddenly have their assets and cash seized.
Many will be thrown in Jail or extradited (in return for favors from foreign governments of course).
Could be my vote for the best satire of the year:
“The UAE’s Major-General Ahmad Nasser Al Raisi has been elected as President of Interpol.”
JFC. I wonder how much that cost.
So we can look forward to at least another four years of nothing happening in Dubai because “lulz money”.
edit: actually maybe not –
If the role is purely ceremonial and they can keep him away from enforcement, maybe there’s hope.
Might actually do some good…
“Can’t have the UAE being a hotbed of global financial fraud. The Dubai Chief of Police is President of Interpol don’tcha know…”
Not holding my breath.
Won’t be much longer: justice.gov/opa/pr/united-states-and-united-arab-emirates-sign-bilateral-agreement-enhancing-law-enforcement
It’s not nothing but…
The problem is UAE doesn’t care about fraud.
Hi, this is the FBI. Pursuant to that new MLAT, here’s a list of suspects we’re pursuing. There’s a lot of them. What can you tell us?
As-salam alaykum FBI. We can confirm these people are all living in Dubai.
Right, so uh… arrests?
Hey, how ya do-ing? Sorry you can’t get through. Why don’t you leave your name, and your number, and UAE will get back to you…
Um, well if you’re not going to arrest scammers could you at least deport them so we can do your job?
Believe it or not, Dubai isn’t at home. Please leave a messaaaaage, at the beep.
I must be out or I’d pick up the phone, wheeeeeere could I be? Believe it or not, I’m not hooooome.
UAE isn’t going to make arrests and with no extradition treaty this doesn’t change the current fraud paradise status quo.
One of those two things has to change before we see any meaningful changes.
From one of Leonardo Cositorto’s latest interviews:
Well, this article explains the Dubai allure, what about Estonia and Sweden?
A few years back Estonia pitched itself as a crypto fraud haven. That’s mostly died down but the country is still a favorite to incorporate shell companies in.
It’s a little more convincing than your standard UK incorporation when trying to fool banks.
Sweden is your typical EU turn a blind eye to MLM fraud country.
MLM regulation in EU in general tends to be “so long as you don’t scam the local population we’ll do nothing”.
Italy and a few other countries do track securities fraud but rarely do anything beyond issuing warnings.
Agent Orange: I’m a United States Federal Investigator and I understand that you in the UAE are my counterpart for dealing with MLM ponzi fraud?
Counterpart: Yes and no. We have loads of money. We want more. We don’t care. We’ve outsourced this to a guy who works for the South African FCSA called Philemon. He’s on bail for something else. In the meantime contact the UK Companies House. They’re great. It’s ten in the morning so they’re probably in the pub. While I have your attention, would you like to work from home and be your own boss and earn $ 1,000 a day?
“Be your own boss” Dubai Edition.
Why is Dubai the MLM Scam Capital of the World? I think I’ve found another plausible explanation for this.
Those who don’t want to pay taxes like to cheat from Dubai. My question about taxes in Dubai was answered like this:
Read more here:
Even the Austrian crook Stephan Morgenstern obviously doesn’t like paying taxes when I read:
Naturally Dubai’s authorities don’t collect tax. The less they know about the finances of the scammers they shelter there the easier plausible deniability is.
Dubai’s Burj Khalifa – wow at the top, ugh at the bottom.
The Burj Khalifa has 163 floors – but no sewage system of its own. The human excrement has to be transported away with a large number of trucks.
I see a certain resemblance between the Burj Khalifa and most MLM systems…
Hmmmm this helps explain why Ash Mufareh had such a video spectacle on a building there for Onpassive’s “The Top” event.
And I will be sharing your article on my channel to talk about Onpassive and Ash now allegedly buying 2 office floors at the tallest building. I smell something rotten.
USA based order in to Dubai courts – freezing order, MOU seems to be working!
Not related to MLM’s but is related to Dubai.
Asset freeze I suppose is progress. Meanwhile Interpol Dubai just let Generation Zoe’s Hector Luis Yrimia go after he turned himself in.
Yrimia literally has an international arrest warrant out on him.
Crowd 1 skyway Evorich Weter all headquarters at Dubai, so gaeel bhais Pani me Bhai.
So they are all scams? Engleesh only please.
News out of Dubai suggests they may be trying to clean up their act. Or at least applying a coat or two of whitewash:
The Gupta brothers took the South African public purse for much the same Ruja did the world.
A. Interpol Red Notices do work, B. the UAE does care, C. Sucks to be them.
Dubai = MLM crime capital of the world till I see them make any MLM related arrests.
They flat out refused to do anything about that Generation Zoe Interpol arrest warrant a few months ago.
Scamlord sheiks keep turning up at Dubai MLM Ponzi events = they’re in on the grift.
Addition to comment #23
Video from March 2022 with 689,881 views:
PS: If you don’t understand the German language, you can choose English subtitles.
The joke of the day:
The don’t need to hold a summit, they just need to do anything.
Dubai is so crime riddled if every police officer went outside and shook hands with the first ten people they saw, and arrested all of them – and they did this for a week straight – not a single arrested person wouldn’t be tied to crime.
None of these countries give a crap about financial crime.
Re Dubai, Just heard it’s where Caius Hale of TS Life is hiding from Irish consumer fraud investigators.
Dubai gets an capable contender now.
Remember the song from KISS I was made for scamming you?
If you wondering to see the name Al Qasimi here, it’s another leg of this infamous scam clan that runs 2 emirates and several key companys in the UAE.
If RAK’s Digital Crime Oasis is going to compete they’ll have to explain why criminals would choose them over Dubai.