Dubai regulator in contact with US counterpart about Abraaj case

Abraaj founder Arif Naqvi and former managing partner Mustafa Abdel-Wadood were arrested on US charges last week for allegedly defrauding investors
Dubai regulator in contact with US counterpart about Abraaj case
Abraaj was the Middle East and North Africa’s largest buyout fund before it collapsed last year after a disagreement with investors, including the Gates Foundation, over a $1 billion healthcare fund.
By Lubna Hamdan
Tue 16 Apr 2019 10:17 AM

Dubai’s financial services regulator is in contact with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on the latest case involving collapsed private equity firm Abraaj, it said in a statement on Monday.

Last week, Abraaj founder Arif Naqvi and former managing partner Mustafa Abdel-Wadood were arrested on US charges that they defrauded investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“The DFSA can confirm it is communicating with the SEC, with whom it has a long-standing mutual assistance relationship, and other relevant local and overseas authorities on this matter,” the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) statement said.

Abraaj was the Middle East and North Africa’s largest buyout fund before it collapsed last year after a disagreement with investors, including the Gates Foundation, over a $1 billion healthcare fund. It then filed for provisional liquidation in the Cayman Islands in June.

The DFSA has been investigating the company’s only entity which comes under its regulation, Abraaj Capital Limited, over a number of matters, but did not provide details as to what they are.

Last August, it prohibited Abraaj Capital Ltd from taking on new business or transferring funds to Abraaj Investment Management.

While the authority said it has taken all appropriate measures to protect investors, it said it does not have the power to lay charges.

“Where appropriate, it (DFSA) has the power to impose administrative sanctions, but does not have a criminal jurisdiction, therefore it does not lay charges or make arrests... The DFSA’s investigation into Abraaj Capital Limited and other relevant companies and persons involved in the Abraaj Group is ongoing,” it said in the statement.

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