Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 27 May 2019

Abraaj founder Arif Naqvi remains in jail after not posting £15 million bail

The bail amount is the largest of its kind ever ordered by a UK court

Arif Naqvi is one of several Abraaj officials caught up in an investigation. Reuters
Arif Naqvi is one of several Abraaj officials caught up in an investigation. Reuters

Former Abraaj chief executive, Arif Naqvi, remains in jail days after winning bail because of failing to pay a £15 million (Dh72mn) security bond.

Mr Naqvi, 58, was granted bail on Friday while he fights extradition to the US over fraud charges on condition he pays £15m to a UK court.

But on Tuesday, Westminster Magistrates' Court told The National that Mr Naqvi has not paid the funds yet and remains in custody.

The bail bond is believed to be the largest of its kind ever ordered by a British court.

When asked about the case, his son Ahsan Naqvi told The National: "I have nothing to say."

Once he pays the funds, Mr Naqvi would remain at his West London home around the clock and will have to wear an electronic tag.

He would also have to hand over his passport.

A US court last week indicated that extradition proceedings could take at least two years.

Mr Naqvi faces up to 45 years in prison if found guilty of conspiracy and fraud charges connected to the collapse of the Abraaj Group last year. He denies defrauding investors of millions in his now insolvent Dubai-based private equity company.

The Pakistani citizen also allegedly directed a ploy to inflate the value of some of Abraaj’s funds in an attempt to cover up the company's liquidity issues, while trying to attract a $6 billion (Dh22.03bn) investment for a new venture.

He is one of several Abraaj officials caught up in a probe of what had been the Middle East’s biggest private-equity fund.

He denies the accusations and says the idea he took money out for his own personal benefit is "ludicrous".

Founded in 2002, Abraaj grew to become one of the world’s most influential emerging-market investors, with stakes in health care, clean energy, lending and real estate across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Turkey.

Abraaj, which managed almost $14 billion in funds, was forced into liquidation last June after a group of investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, commissioned an audit to investigate the alleged mismanagement of money in its health-care fund.

Updated: May 9, 2019 08:25 PM

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