x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Alleged Dubai World embezzler Smith awaits charges

Michael Bryan Smith remains in custody as prosecutors investigate the alleged embezzlement of more than Dh2 million by the former Limitless personnel manager.

DUBAI // The former Limitless personnel manager, Michael Bryan Smith, is still in custody as prosecutors investigate the alleged embezzlement of more than Dh2 million from the Dubai World developer.

Three witnesses were called this week to give evidence in the fraud investigation that led to the overseas arrest and extradition of Mr Smith, 44, a Briton.

Prosecutors called in two Dubai World fraud investigators for questioning on July 6 and last Wednesday.

Mr Smith was questioned on June 9, two days after his extradition to Dubai from Thailand.

The Dubai Courts extended Mr Smith's detention by 30 days on July 14, and three witnesses will meet prosecutors tomorrow.

A case was filed by Limitless on July 2, 2008, claiming Mr Smith funnelled Dh2.2m of employee salaries to himself while working as the personnel manager.

Prosecutors could not trace Mr Smith, who was subpoenaed on August 13, 2008. They issued an Interpol "red notice" for him on September 9, 2008.

Dubai World's anti-fraud department hired an international private investigations company to track him down.

The company found he had spent eight months, travelling to Vietnam, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Thailand, before being held by Thai authorities.

Mr Smith was arrested in May 2009 and ordered to be extradited to Dubai by a Bangkok court a year later. The decision was appealed but upheld by the Bangkok high court in March this year.

Records handed to Thai authorities show the Dubai Public Prosecution may file charges of forgery, betrayal of trust and the illegal possession of public funds.

At the moment Mr Smith is being held on suspicion of betrayal of trust. No formal charges have been presented.

amustafa@thenational.ae