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Wed 12 Oct 2016 10:36 AM

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RAK establishes new company to secure assets in Massaad 'fraud' case

Former RAKIA chief awaits decision on $1.5bn fraud extradition

RAK establishes new company to secure assets in Massaad 'fraud' case
Khater Massaad was chief executive of the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority from 2007-12.

Ras Al Khaimah has set up a new company, RAK Development, to ring-fence its overseas assets worth millions of dollars, as it seeks the extradition of Khater Massaad, former chief of Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA), from Saudi Arabia.

“The principal reason for the establishment of RAK Development was to ring-fence the troubled assets and bring focused management and expertise to address the complexities associated with distressed assets,” Jamie Buchanan, a spokesman for the RAK government, told The National.

“This is in keeping with the totally transparent approach we have taken with ratings agencies and other interested parties. Our investigations identified serious malpractice, malfeasance and corruption. As a matter of policy rather than sitting on it, and if you sit on these things they will ultimately come out, we said here’s the problem and here’s what we’ve done about it.”

Earlier this month, Massaad, who faces $1.5 billion (AED5.5 billion) fraud allegation, claimed he should be awarded damages for the “false charges which amount to nothing more than extortion”.

He was detained at Jeddah Airport, Saudi Arabia, in September this year under an arrest warrant issued by the RAK government.

Massaad ran RAKIA from 2007 until 2012 and was the founder of RAK Ceramics, one of the world's largest makers of porcelain goods.