Prosecutors vow to hunt Istithmar World fraudster

Former senior exec pleads his innocence but UAE officials mull extradition process.
Prosecutors vow to hunt Istithmar World fraudster
By Andy Sambidge
Thu 05 Nov 2009 06:13 AM

UAE prosecutors have said steps will be taken to find and arrest a former senior executive of Istithmar Capital convicted on embezzlement charges.

An Interpol Red Notice could be issued for the arrest and possible extradition of Chris Turner, who was sentenced in absentia to five years in jail for embezzling AED4.9 million ($1.3m), UAE daily The National reported on Thursday.

The former risk assessment manager for the investment arm of Dubai World was also ordered by Dubai Criminal Court to pay $2.7m in fines and restitution.

Turner, speaking to newswire Zawya Dow Jones from a location outside the UAE, said: "I'm innocent of the charges and I'm not in the country. I'm reviewing my legal options."

"This is a matter for the appropriate authorities," said a spokesman at Istithmar World in an emailed statement to the newswire.

But prosecutors in the UAE said they would hunt for him.

“If the person is believed to be outside of the country, his location will be investigated and steps will be taken to return him in order to face his prosecution or serve his sentence,” said Shoaib Ahly, a Dubai public prosecutor in comments published by The National.

Dubai Police said once they received the case file, they could issue an Interpol Red Notice, which is not an international arrest warrant but a local warrant circulated worldwide with the request that the wanted person be arrested with a view to extradition.

On Tuesday, Turner was found guilty of purchasing stocks for Istithmar from a British horse brokerage company that he owned, then pocketing a portion of the funds.

Turner, 45, came to the UAE in 2003 and headed a company at the Dubai internet City before joining Dubai World.

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