UAE court sentences Abraaj Group's Naqvi in absentia

Bloomberg/Simon Dawson

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The sentencing comes a week after the Dubai Financial Service Authority fined the collapsed buyout firm a record $315 million for misleading investors and misappropriating their funds.

Thursday 08, August 2019

Arif Naqvi, the founder of defunct Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Group, was sentenced in absentia to three years in prison by a court in the UAE for a case involving low-cost carrier Air Arabia, reported Bloomberg.

It’s unclear whether Naqvi will serve the sentence, given he’s in London awaiting a hearing over his potential extradition to the US

Naqvi faces fraud allegations in the US, however, in London he was granted conditional bail in May after paying the largest security bond ever ordered in the UK. While he awaits his extradition hearing, he must wear an electronic tag and stay in his London home as part of the bail conditions.

The founder of Abraaj maintains his innocence and expects to be cleared of any charges.

In February, the airline reported a full-year loss after booking impairments to cover its $336 million exposure to Abraaj. The buyout firm borrowed money from Air Arabia, on whose board Naqvi sat.

According to US prosecutors, the money was then used to cover shortfalls in one of the Abraaj funds and mislead investors.

Naqvi faced a court case in Sharjah before when he was accused of writing bad cheques. The court sentenced him to three years in prison, but the case was then immediately dropped after he reached a settlement with the plaintiff.

 

TAGS : Arif Naqvi, Abraaj Group, Air Arabia, Sharjah Court, Dubai Financial Service Authority

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