Abraaj founder sentenced to 3 years in prison by UAE court: report

Published August 9, 2019
Arif Naqvi — the chief executive and founder of the collapsed Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Capital Ltd. — Reuters/File
Arif Naqvi — the chief executive and founder of the collapsed Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Capital Ltd. — Reuters/File

The chief executive and founder of the collapsed Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Capital Ltd, Arif Naqvi, was sentenced in absentia to three years in prison by a court in the United Arab Emirates, reported Bloomberg on Thursday.

Naqvi was handed the prison sentence in a case involving low-cost carrier Air Arabia PJSC, the publication quoted people familiar with the matter as saying.

The sentence comes days after the financial regulator of Dubai said it had imposed a record fine of nearly $315 million on two affiliates of the collapsed Abraaj group for unauthorised activities and misusing investors’ funds.

According to the Bloomberg report, Naqvi’s legal representative declined to comment on the development, while Air Arabia representatives weren’t available to comment.

In April, Naqvi was arrested in the United Kingdom on US charges that he defrauded investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In May, he was granted conditional bail of $20m after a London judge dismissed prosecutors’ bid to keep him in custody while he fought extradition to the US.

During his bail, the 58-year-old was ordered to surrender his travel documents, wear an electronic tag and stay in his London home. His bail conditions effectively amounted to house arrest, a report quoted the judge as saying at the time.

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