Habtoor Leighton Group boss arrested in Dubai

Jose Antonio Lopez-Monis detained on Wednesday afternoon, Australian parent company reveals in bourse statement
Habtoor Leighton Group boss arrested in Dubai
Dubai Pearl. one of Habtoor Leighton Groups projects in Dubai
By Staff writer
Thu 18 Aug 2016 09:40 AM

The head of one of the Middle East’s largest contracting firms, Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) chief executive Jose Antonio Lopez-Monis, has been arrested in Dubai.

HLG’s parent company, Cimic Group, announced the arrest via a statement to the Australian bourse on Thursday morning.

“As a result of a complaint filed with police in Dubai, the CEO and MD of HLG, Jose Antonio Lopez-Monis, was arrested after market close on Wednesday 17 August 2016,” the Cimic statement said.

The statement gave no details as to who had filed the complaint with the police, or why Lopez-Monis had been detained.

The statement added that HLG “was assisting Mr Lopez-Monis”.

HLG is 45 percent-owned by Cimic, formerly known as Leighton, which is one of Australia’s largest contractors.

In May, the Dubai-based Al Habtoor Group announced that it had no connection with HLG, a former joint venture between itself and Leighton Holding.

The family giant was understood to have held a sizeable stake in HLG, but a company spokesperson told Arabian Business at the time that the Al Habtoor Group had divested its stake in the JV “several years ago”.

The spokesperson declined to provide further details as to who had bought the stake, the size of the stake and how much it had been sold for.

Chairman Khalaf Al Habtoor was quoted as saying in a TV interview in November last year that the group planned to sell its stake in the joint venture.

Lopez-Monis joined HLG in October 2012, having previously worked for Spanish construction giant Dragados.

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