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Intelligence sources: Commercial fraud scandal exacerbates dilemma of UAE Deputy PM

January 16, 2023 at 3:15 pm

President of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nayhan [@MohamedBinZayed/Twitter]

Intelligence sources reported that a preliminary ruling in a financial fraud case has exacerbated the dilemma of the UAE Deputy Prime Minister, Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, whose commercial empire has been dismantled for nearly 3 years.

The sources stated that the ruling, issued by the Abu Dhabi Commercial Court, was issued on 4 January, and stipulates that the Bahraini SayaCorp bank, formerly the First Energy Bank (FEB), will obtain $ 55 million from the UAE health care company, NMC, according to the French website Intelligence Online.

The intelligence site stated that NMC is currently managed by chartered accountants, Richard Fleming and Ben Cairns, from the Consulting and Restructuring Company, Alvarez & Marsal. With its claim for compensation, SayaCorp hopes to pay funding loans worth $205 million, which applied for it for NMC in 2016.

NMC, which was founded and managed by Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty in cooperation with UAE Deputy Prime Minister, Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, collapsed in the London Stock Exchange in 2020, after it revealed more than $4 billion in hidden debt.

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The recognition of these debts came after Muddy Waters, an investigative research firm in the US, owned by Carson Block, issued a report in December 2019, revealing suspicious financial behaviour in the company.

SayaCorp originally filed a lawsuit against NMC in 2022 and those in charge of the healthcare company’s liquidation responded that the Bank’s former Chairman, Emirati billionaire Khalifa bin Butti Al Muhairi, was among those who benefited from the group’s “generosity” and were aware of the fraud in its financial position statement.

Al-Muhairi was Vice-President of NMC, in conjunction with his presidency of SayaCorp, and he denied any wrong-doing since the announcement of NMC’s decline in 2020.

However, Al-Muhairi, whose wealth was previously estimated by Forbes magazine at $ 1.2 billion, is bankrupt today, and his assets in the Emirates have been frozen since early 2022, according to Intelligence Online.

The site indicated that SayaCorp manages, in one way or another, the funds owned by the relatives of Mansour bin Zayed, and that the Bank and the health care company are within the financial empire of the UAE Deputy Prime Minister.

However, the influence of the man, who has strong influence in business circles, has diminished over the past three years, before the rise of his brother, Mohammed bin Zayed, as successor to his late father, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and his second brother, Tahnoon bin Zayed, assumed the position of National Security Advisor.

Tahnoun proceeded to dismantle Mansour’s business empire, gradually removing the oil and finance business from his grip, according to the intelligence site’s sources.

All those close to Mansour were ultimately contained and limited in one way or another, including his former right-hand man, Khadem Al Qubaisi, who was sentenced, in February 2021, to 15 years in prison for money laundering.

Al-Qubaisi was the CEO of IPIC at the time, the oil company owned by Mansour bin Zayed, which found itself at the centre of the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund corruption scandal.

Mansour bin Zayed himself was also forced to relinquish his yacht, Topaz, to his brother, Tahnoun, who renamed it A+.

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