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Sat 19 Apr 2008 12:13 PM

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Deyaar ex-CEO suspected of embezzlement

Zack Shahin detained for past three weeks on suspicion of embezzling $33mn, media reports.

Deyaar ex-CEO suspected of embezzlement
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Shahin, pictured, is suspected of embezzling $33 million. (ITP Images)

The CEO of Dubai property developer Deyaar, under investigation by prosecutors, is suspected of embezzling 120 million dirhams ($33 million), UAE daily Gulf News daily reported on Friday.

Deyaar Chairman Nasser Al-Shaikh told newswire Reuters on Thursday that Zack Shahin had been detained and was being investigated by the Public Prosecutor on allegations of a "financial" nature.

He declined to give more details of the case.

An official at the Dubai Public Prosecutor's office said Shahin has been detained and was under investigation but gave no more details.

Gulf News in its front-page story cited unnamed "sources close to the case" as saying that Shahin had been detained for the past three weeks on suspicion that he embezzled money, though no charges have been pressed against him so far.

Dubai's economy has been surging on a near six-fold increase in oil prices since 2002 that has spurred a real estate boom after the family-ruled emirate opened its market to foreign ownership, attracting home buyers from around the world.

Deyaar, Dubai's second-largest property developer by market value, said in a statement on Thursday that Shahin had resigned.

Deyaar named Adnan Tareen, head of finance, as acting CEO.

Shares of Deyaar closed 0.85 percent lower on Thursday, extending this years decline to more than 20%, compared with a fall of under 6% on the main bourse.

Profit last year was 411 million dirhams, according to Reuters data.

Shahin was not immediately available for comment, but Al-Shaikh said on Thursday: "From our side we saw a few things that raised our concern and we are now going through the legal system for the benefit of our company and our shareholders." (Reuters)

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