Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Seven charged over alleged $501m Dubai fraud (edited)

(1/8/2013: This post has been abbreviated. It was originally posted in March 2009. See more in the comments to this post.)

Financial Times:
Dubai’s public prosecution has charged seven businessmen with crimes related to an alleged scheme to defraud Dubai Islamic Bank of $501m, official records show.
International censure has mounted against the government’s decision to hold without charge some executives for almost a year. Zack Shahin, former chief executive of Deyaar, has via US lawyers complained about his extended detention, claiming he had been tortured and was being victimised to protect senior locals.
The public prosecution document accuses Charles Ridley and Ryan Cornelius, both Britons, and Erin Nil, a Turk, of forging documents to defraud the bank of $501m via CCH, a trade finance company owned by Mr Nil and linked to Messrs Ridley and Cornelius. The document alleges that the two former DIB executives, Rafatul Islam Usmani and Omair Mooraj, both Pakistanis, solicited and received bribes of $950,000 and $750,000, respectively, to facilitate the alleged embezzlement. The public prosecution document also claims that Zia Usmani, a US citizen, defrauded DIB of $2m. Arthur Fitzwilliam, the British developer behind the polo-themed Plantation, is accused by the prosecution of aiding Messrs Nil, Ridley and Cornelius to carry out their alleged fraud.
The Gulf News report of the charges says,
Gulf News will refrain from naming the suspects in keeping with the media code of ethics.
From AP's report:
Allegations of wrongdoing tied to Dubai Islamic go back nearly a year with the arrest of Zack Shahin, an American citizen and former CEO of Deyaar Development Co., which began as a subsidiary of the bank. He is not among those named in the recent filing, and remains in custody.
A Web site set up to call for Shahin's release was blocked by Internet censors in Dubai on Tuesday.