By Andy Sambidge
Attorney General says probe into ex-DIFC chief will be 'completely transparent'.
Dubai's attorney general has said that the questioning of the former head of Dubai International Financial Centre over alleged financial irregularities would be conducted in "complete transparency".
Issam Issa Al Humaiden confirmed the probe into allegations of embezzlement of former DIFC governor Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, adding that further "similar cases" would soon be referred to the courts as part of the emirate's fight against corruption.
In a statement published by news agency WAM, the Media Office of Dubai Government said Sulaiman was being questioned about the "irregularities believed to have taken place during his tenure", adding that he was accused of abusing his authority for profiting from public funds.
Following an investigation conducted by Ismael Madani, head of the Public Funds Prosecution, the Public Prosecution ordered his detention pending further investigation.
The investigation alleged that as governor of the DIFC, Sulaiman had illegally diverted funds amounting to AED50 million to his own account as "performance bonuses".
Al Humaidan said: "The questioning of former DIFC governor is conducted with complete transparency and keenness to fight corruption, to protect public funds and to maintain integrity of public office."
Al Humaidan added that the investigation followed a report by concerned regulatory authorities.
He also said a number of similar cases would soon be referred by the Public Prosecution to the courts.
Bin Sulaiman, who held a number of other high profile positions, was abruptly removed from his post as governor of the DIFC in November, to be replaced by Ahmed Humaid al-Tayer.
The decision by Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum to appoint al-Tayer was part of efforts to "improve performance in Dubai government and semi-governmental departments" and to boost the emirate's position as a global financial, trade and tourism centre.
Dubai's government set up the DIFC in 2002 in a bid to turn the regional trading and tourism hub into a world financial centre on a par with Singapore and Frankfurt.
In September, it was reported that a special taskforce had been set up to investigate corruption in Dubai.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, ordered the Dubai Public Prosecution office to establish the unit to investigate fraud.
Several senior executives have been detained while companies caught up in the corruption probe include Tamweel, Nakheel, Istithmar World, Dubai Islamic Bank and Sama Dubai.
For all of those who have ever worked with or had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman you can attest to the fact that he has always conducted himself with the highest level of honesty and integrity. Dr. Omar has always focused on helping other people and worked hard to ensure Dubai excelled without asking anything for himself other than what was given to him. Its unfortunate that when times are hard it is easy to place the blame or judge an innocent Samaritan.
Dr. Omar is a great business leader and a great person. I cannot imagine the number of companies and amount of investment he has brought to Dubai to help deliver on the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed. Dr. Omar is a man of his word and always delivered on his promises and commitments. I can only hope that this matter is cleared up quickly for the sake of his family and so that he can continue to help Dubai regain its prominence in the World.
It's a good move and Dubai govt should wake up now. Not all high ranking officers can be trusted, because money is evil. Corruption is a conspiracy and not only one person involved.
Strict Laws has to take action when the things goes in wrong direction. specially playing with innocent public money. Unfortunately, the dictonary word "recession" in this part has to be replaced by "curruption" as mentioned in your above last para !
all corruption must be seriously taken into account, but Dubai must consider the fact that it has grown faster than any country in the world and that decisions made by its executives that have been given the responsibility to propell that growth could be construed at potential "corruption". There must be a trade-off. You can not gain all the glory without any taint of small smear.
In reply to Mr. Jonathan's comment, I wonder how a Cheat, Greedy person can be a Great Business Leader and a Great Person. He can never be a leader, because if he is going to lead the followers will also acquire his traits. And his cronies in his establishment should also be checked out as they will also be part of this scam.