The chief executive officer of Dubai-based investment firm Abraaj Capital has been arrested over charges by the United States, has accused him for fraud.
The founder and CEO of Abraaj, Arif Naqvi, was arrested in Britain last Friday, while the co-director M.P in a New York hotel last Thursday, against the backdrop of US accusations of fraud on investors, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to Reuters. Abraaj, based in Dubai, was the largest direct investment firm in the Middle East and North Africa until its collapse last year. The company has assets of around $ 14 billion in the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
When did the “Abraaj” crisis begin?
The Abraaj crisis, founded 16 years ago by Arif Naqvi of Pakistani origin, began after several investors, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of Bill Gates, the World Bank’s International Finance and the British CDC Group.
When did the “Abraaj” crisis begin?
The Abraaj crisis, founded 16 years ago by Arif Naqvi of Pakistani origin, began after several investors, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of Bill Gates, the World Bank’s International Finance and the British CDC Group, And Proparco, who pumped their money into the $ 1 billion Abu Dhabi-based health care fund, commissioned Ankura, a specialist in legal accounting, to investigate misuse of funds at the Abraj Health Care Fund.
These institutions claimed that Abraaj had used part of the fund’s resources to finance its own business, along with a $ 545 million investment slowdown that was transferred to the fund in April 2016 to build hospitals in several countries.
Deloitte, identified by Abraaj, revealed a cash shortage that led to towers mixing investors with their own money.
In June last year, Abraaj met with its creditors to freeze the company’s debt to facilitate the sale of its investment management arm, but Kuwait’s insurance fund refused to join creditors in freezing the proposed debt.
A few days later, Kuwait’s Social Security Corporation filed a request with the Cayman Islands for the liquidation of Abraaj after defaulting on a $ 100 million loan, plus $ 7 million in accrued interest.
Charges against the company
In a brief indictment released last Thursday, prosecutors said that from 2014 until the company’s collapse, Nakafi lied about the performance of the Abraaj funds, which were worth more than half a billion dollars.
Prosecutors also said Abraaj Capital misused “at least hundreds of millions” of investors’ money, either to disguise lack of liquidity or to benefit. Prosecutors plan to bring more detailed charges at the end of May.
Abraaj is investing in the North Africa Holding Group of Hospitals, known in Egypt as the Cleopatra Hospitals Group, and consists of Cleopatra Hospital and 3 other hospitals, Al-Badrawi, Al-Shorouq and Cairo Medical Center.
Abraj Group also owns Integrated Diagnostics Company, which was established in 2012, after the merger of lab and tower laboratories, which the Group acquired.
Naqvi is also accused of stealing investors’ money for himself and his inner circle, including Abdul Wadood, a resident of Dubai, UAE. The two were also charged with conspiracy, electronic fraud and securities fraud.
In the court, on Thursday, Griswold said the evidence against Abdel Wadood included secretly recorded calls and meetings, encrypted messages and millions of documents and computer files.
She also explained that the United States planted a trace of geographical location on Abdul Wadood’s phone, while the latter, wearing a sports jacket, a black shirt and jeans, did not speak during the deliberations.
Naqvi was indicted in the UAE for a $ 217 million check that ended in a three-year prison term, although he was outside the UAE at the time.