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Mon 13 Jun 2011 09:23 AM

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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

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.

Harry Fato 8 years ago

just wondering when we will read "UAE NAtional deported back to Thailand to face animal smuggling charges" after he skipped the country back to UAE 2 weeks ago.

Telcoguy 8 years ago

Any more question?

Red Snappa 8 years ago

I suspect that so much has been spent on this case to date that to step back is to lose face. Probably the legal cost will ultimately eclipse the amount at stake, which incidentally media have reported previously as being millions of dollars. which would have made it worth their while

I guess the fact that Dubai World has had to restructure so much debt and Nakheel and Limitless are still in the process, they feel that they need to continue and show they are leaving no financial stone unturned.

Well I never I wasn't aware the UAE National animal smuggler caught by the Thai authorities had skipped the country. They must be furious having handed over a third country national in the absence of an extradition treaty.

Mounir 8 years ago

When the UK extradites the hundreds (if not thousands) of british citizens who racked up debt in the UAE before doing a runner, perhaps then the UAE would entertain the thought of extraditing one of its own to Thailand.

What a civilized country, this UK is. harbouring known thieves.

Telcoguy 8 years ago

Mounir, in order for a extradition request to be fulfilled the crime must be recognized as such by both jurisdictions. This applies not only to the UAE but any other country. Bounced checks are not a crime in the uk, and if racking up debt is one in the UAE, it certainly seems to be ignored when found convenient.
In fact UAE has extradited suspects of serious crimes (murder) but refused also the extradition of others (corruption).
And how your relation to the uk involves Thailand? Maybe you need to explain to us all.

charles 8 years ago

oh dear, Mounir and his diatribe all over again.
Any facts to support your assertions Mounir? No. Still it keeps you busy I suppose and entertains only you, immensely.

Mounir 8 years ago

nah, it entertains quite a lot of people. give it a few days and see how many people will take some of their time to reply to my post :)

by the way, are you trying to hint that it wasn't the brits who took massive amounts of loans and then did a runner? Who was it then?

Mounir 8 years ago

my relation of the UK to Thailand is the same relation of a Spaniard to the UAE :)

Telcoguy 8 years ago

By massive amounts of loans, are you referring to the over $120bn debt of Dubai that is currently being renegotiated?
Then, no I think it was not the British who took it.

Mike Hunt 8 years ago

You bore me, but please read this article before making yet more unfounded claims against UK citizens