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Wed 19 Aug 2009 10:09 PM

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Barwa fails in bid to freeze Tannenbaum associate's assets

Dean Rees accused of recruiting investors for alleged Ponzi scheme, including Qatar firm.


Barwa Real Estate Co.

, Qatar’s second-largest property developer, has confirmed it is continuing its bid to freeze the assets of Dean Rees - an associate of alleged Ponzi scheme operator, Barry Tannenbaum - after a UK court turned down a request.

Barwa

is 45 percent owned by Qatari Diar Real Estate Co, which in turn is controlled by the Qatar government.

“We are after him,” said Tamer Mohamed Khedr, Barwa’s financial adviser for the chairman and managing director, in a telephone interview in Doha on Tuesday, news agency Bloomberg reported.

He declined to specify the countries in which further action would be taken.

Rees, who claims he was duped by Tannenbaum, has been accused of recruiting investors for the Sydney-based businessman, who is being investigated by South African authorities over allegations he ran a Ponzi scheme worth as much as 2 billion rand ($248 million).

Barwa

started court proceedings against Rees in June after the South African weekly magazine Financial Mail said the Qatari company lost more than $30 million investing with Tannenbaum’s companies.

Barwa

’s application was dismissed by a UK court last week, Rees said in a phone interview from Switzerland.

Brian Biebuyck, Rees’s Johannesburg-based lawyer, said the UK case was “discharged on the basis that the English court had no jurisdiction.” He said the company hasn’t approached him in South Africa, Bloomberg added.

Tannenbaum meanwhile failed to respond to e-mailed questions from Bloomberg. In a statement back on June 13 he described some of the allegations against him as “drivel.”