Thai court agrees extradition of Brit ‘fraudster’ to Dubai

Michael Smith is accused of embezzling AED2.2m from state-linked real estate firm Limitless
Thai court agrees extradition of Brit ‘fraudster’ to Dubai
Michael Bryan Smith is accused of embezzling AED2.2m from a subsidiary of state conglomerate Dubai World
By Joanne Bladd
Tue 29 Mar 2011 05:50 PM

A Thailand court agreed Tuesday to extradite a British national to the UAE to face charges of embezzling AED2.2m ($600,000) from a subsidiary of state conglomerate Dubai World.

The Bangkok Criminal Court said that Michael Bryan Smith, 43, had dropped his appeal against its previous ruling, paving the way for his immediate extradition to the UAE, AFP reported.

Thailand has no formal agreement treaty with the Gulf state.

Michael Bryan Smith was arrested in Bangkok in May 2009 after spending eight months on the run. Smith, who is married to a Thai woman, is accused of funneling workers’ salaries into his own bank account while working as a personnel manager at Limitless, a unit of Dubai World, in the first five months of 2008. The amount is thought to total $600,000.

The UAE issued a warrant for his arrest in August 2008 on charges of forgery and illegal possession of stolen funds.

British-born Smith has repeatedly protested his innocence, claiming that UAE authorities have not produced any evidence as to why he should be charged or extradited.

Is it understood he has now agreed to return to the UAE to fight charges of forgery, betrayal of trust and illegal possession of stolen funds.

Police said Smith had travelled through Vietnam, Hong Kong and the Philippines after fleeing Dubai in 2008, before being arrested in Thailand.

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