x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Dh44m fraud charges for execs accused of illegal Dubai Waterfront sale

New charges have been brought against four men accused of trying to pocket Dh44 million by fraudulently selling a piece of Nakheel's Dubai Waterfront project.

DUBAI // New charges have been brought against four men accused of trying to steal Dh44?million by fraudulently selling a piece of Nakheel’s Dubai Waterfront project.

A revised charge-sheet handed to the Criminal Court by prosecutors today claimed that Nakheel’s former executive director, M?J?J, 43, the former operations manager M?R?L, 40, and the former legal adviser A?J?P, 44, plotted with A?R, a director at Prudentia Investments, to make an illegal Dh44m profit by selling a plot of land in the project’s City of Arabs. The former legal adviser and the Prudentia director are not in custody.

The four Australians were originally charged with causing a Dh142m loss to the Waterfront project, but after four years in the court system the case was returned to prosecution.

Prosecutors now say the four men conspired to sell a plot of land to the Sunland company in return for a commission of Dh44.1m.

They told Sunland the plot was worth Dh185m and had already been reserved by Prudentia for this amount. However, they said they would sell it to Sunland for Dh120m and that only a 5 per cent, rather than 15 per cent, upfront payment would be required if Sunland paid them a commission of Dh44.1m.

Prosecutors claim the former Nakheel operations manager undervalued the land’s worth by Dh60 per square foot and that the former executive director approved his evaluation. The legal adviser prepared the contracts while the Prudentia director acted as their representative in selling the plot to Sunland. The executive director’s share from the deal was allegedly Dh22.1m.

Chief Prosecutor Khaled Al Zarouni accused the four men in the new charge sheet of swindling Dh44.1 million from Sunland’s manager D?B.

The three Nakheel executives were also charged with abusing public office as well as using Nakheel’s confidential information for their own benefit.

The case was adjourned to October 18 while the defence considers the revised charges.

salamir@thenational.ae