x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Thousands lose life savings

Investors say they have lost their life savings in an allegedly bogus multi-million dirham investment portfolio.

DUBAI // Thousands of investors, including many on fixed low incomes, claim they have lost their life savings in an allegedly bogus multi-million dirham investment portfolio run by the Emirati businessman, Abid al Boom, prosecutors say. Prosecutors today revealed that al Boom owes depositors Dh847 million, while his total assets and money seized by authorities barely covers 15 per cent of that amount. After receiving numerous complaints from depositors in al Boom's investment portfolio earlier this year, Dubai Attorney General, Essam Eisa Humaidan, in July ordered al Boom's arrest along with eight others, including an African business partner, an Emirati business partner and al Boom's brother Khalid. "We have registered to date complaints from 3,458 depositors and counting. My office has been busy answering calls from depositors and we have referred the case to the Dubai Rulers Court where auditors will examine al Boom's accounts to determine where the money has gone," said Yousef Foulaz, the chief prosecutor for Deira First District, addressing a news conference today. "The final amount is likely to go up as we continue to receive and register more complaints," he added. Mr Humaidan has earlier ordered the closure of the offices of Al Boom Holding LLC, and Abid Al Boom Management and Development Properties, the suspension of trading in shares owned by the accused and the freezing of all assets belonging to them, including any real estate and bank accounts held by the accused, in order to secure investors' rights. @Email:hbathish@thenational.ae