Briton extradited to Dubai to face fraud charges

Michael Smith is accused of embezzling AED2.2m from a subsidiary of Dubai World
Briton extradited to Dubai to face fraud charges
By Joanne Bladd
Mon 13 Jun 2011 09:23 AM

A British national has been extradited from Thailand to the UAE to face charges of embezzling AED2.2m ($600,000) from a subsidiary of state conglomerate Dubai World.

Michael Bryan Smith was turned over to UAE authorities on July 7 after Dubai World funded an international search that tracked him to Bangkok. The city’s Criminal Court agreed in March to extradite him to the UAE, despite Thailand having no formal treaty with the Gulf state.

The process has “exhausted time and effort,” Abdul Qader Obaid Ali, chairman of the Department of Internal Audit at the company, was quoted as saying by state news agency WAM.

The 43-year-old was arrested in Bangkok in May 2009 after spending eight months on the run. Smith, who is married to a Thai woman, is accused of funneling workers’ salaries into his own bank account while working as a personnel manager at Limitless, a unit of Dubai World, in the first five months of 2008. The amount is thought to total $600,000.

The UAE issued a warrant for his arrest in August 2008 on charges of forgery and illegal possession of stolen funds.

British-born Smith has repeatedly protested his innocence, claiming that UAE authorities have not produced any evidence as to why he should be charged or extradited.

Is it understood he has now agreed to return to the UAE to fight charges of forgery, betrayal of trust and illegal possession of stolen funds.

Police said Smith had travelled through Vietnam, Hong Kong and the Philippines after fleeing Dubai in 2008, before being arrested in Thailand.

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