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Thu 5 Nov 2009 06:13 AM

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Prosecutors vow to hunt Istithmar World fraudster

Former senior exec pleads his innocence but UAE officials mull extradition process.

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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Nathan 10 years ago

Frankly I am tiring of these con men asserting their innocence from the safety of their home countries. Chris Turner and Hervé Jaubert (the Walter Mitty submarine fraudster) are convicted criminals who stole money from their companies. Despite both of them declaring that they are "innocent and considering their legal options" (sure Chris, Istithmar permitted you to buy 1.3 million dollars in shares in your own company....) neither will do anything to appeal their conviction. Please have Interpol issue the red-alert notice and extradite these miscreants back to Dubai as they give the rest of us expatriates a bad name.

The Analyst 10 years ago

The next step for Dubai is to go after all the individuals that fled Dubai from their debts, eg. credit cards, mortgages, loan payments, bounced cheques, and all those thousands and thousands of abandoned Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Range Rovers, that were left at Dubai International Airport on their way out of Dubai and all the debt that they had incurred in the process!. Try them in a Dubai court, while they have fled, have them sentenced and fined, THEN good luck having their homeland turn them over, or as we'll use the legal term, extradite, back to the UAE. Why? Because fraud and misrepresentation was a way of doing business in Dubai and now the ultimate price has to be paid for...failure to regulate Dubai with the proper laws and transparency will produce a bunch of crooks! Good Luck..

irinas sveltana 10 years ago

No need to have Jaubert back, he and Dubai World are trading lawsuits in the US, so, Nathan, an expatriate himself, can trust the truth will come out of an American Court, can we? And we can also trust the court in UK to review a request for the extradition of Chris Turner if it gets there.