Abraaj founder Naqvi risks jail term

Updated June 29, 2018

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DUBAI: The founder of embattled Dubai-based group Abraaj, the region’s largest private equity firm, faces a possible three-year jail term over bounced cheques for millions of dollars, lawyers said on Thursday.

A court in the UAE city of Sharjah will issue its ruling on July 5 in the case against Arif Naqvi, who did not attend a hearing held on Thursday as he was outside the country, said his lawyer Habib al-Mulla.

The UAE public prosecutor has issued a warrant for Naqvi’s arrest.

Essam al-Tamimi, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the prosecution was seeking a jail term of three years for Naqvi for “dishonouring” three cheques worth a combined $300 million.

The cheques were signed by Naqvi for a short-term loan provided by the plaintiffs six months ago “without which Abraaj would likely have collapsed,” Tamimi said in a statement.

The case was sent to court after Naqvi showed “no intention of repaying the debt”, Tamimi said.

Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2018