Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 July 2019

Former Abraaj director fights on in London extradition battle

Sivendran Vettivetpillai is accused of defrauding hundreds of millions of dollars from investors

Former Abraaj executive Sivendran Vettivetpillai remains on bail in London. The National
Former Abraaj executive Sivendran Vettivetpillai remains on bail in London. The National

A recently arrested senior director of the now-defunct private equity firm Abraaj has been permitted by a London judge to alter the place where he checked in with police as part of his bail conditions.

Sivendran Vettivetpillai is fighting an American extradition request over accusations by US prosecutors that he fraudulent misaproaopted millions of dollars.

A week ago, Mr Vettivetpillai became the third former director of Abraaj to be detained amid the aftermath of the industry giant’s insolvency. US prosecutors allege he duped investors, which include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

He allegedly conspired with Mr Naqvi "to inflate valuations of positions held by Abraaj Funds in order to obtain greater investment from U.S. investors," according to a court filing.

Last week, Mr Vettivetpillai was granted a $1.3 million (Dh4.7m) bail until June 12 but must remain under curfew at an unknown private residence. It is unclear how often the 52-year-old is supposed to check in with police. He, nor is solicitors, were present at Westminster Magistrates Court on Thursday morning.

Mr Vettivetpillai's role at Dubai-based Abraaj involved him overseeing the firm's troubled healthcare fund.

Founder and CEO Arif Naqvi is expected in the same London court tomorrow as he continues his own US extradition fight.

Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, the other executive under investigation, was recently arrested at a New York hotel as he prepared to look at colleges with his wife and son. The former managing partner will go on trial in November securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy charges.

At one point Abraaj claimed to manage some $14bn (Dh51.4bn) of funds that were typically devoted to emerging markets.

Updated: April 25, 2019 06:05 PM

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