US criminal case against Abraaj Group is widening
April 20 2019 10:52 PM
Arif Naqvi
Arif Naqvi, founder and ex-CEO of Abraaj


A US criminal case against former executives at buyout fund Abraaj Group, which collapsed last year in the world’s biggest private-equity insolvency, widened following the arrest of a third director.
Sev Vettivetpillai, a former managing partner, faces possible extradition to the US, while a number of other officials were named as alleged co-conspirators. He remains in custody while prosecutors appeal the £1mn ($1.3mn) bail granted by a London judge, his lawyer, Kate Goold, said after a court hearing on Thursday.
Arif Naqvi, the founder and ex-chief executive officer of Abraaj, also appeared in court following his arrest earlier this month, according to court records. Naqvi also remains in custody, according to a court official.
Vettivetpillai is suspected of conspiring with Naqvi “to inflate valuations of positions held by Abraaj funds in order to obtain greater investment from US investors,” according to a London court filing. Waqar Siddique, and Ashish Dave, the fund’s then chief financial officer, were named as co-conspirators, according to the court filing.
Founded in 2002, Abraaj grew to become the Middle East’s biggest private equity fund and one of the world’s most influential emerging-market investors, with stakes in healthcare, clean energy, lending and real estate across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Turkey. But last year Naqvi surrendered control after it was revealed that the firm’s main revenues hadn’t covered operating costs for years.
Abraaj, which managed almost $14bn, was forced into liquidation in June after a group of investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, commissioned an audit to investigate the alleged mismanagement of money in its healthcare fund.
Naqvi is charged with inflating the value of the Dubai-based firm’s holdings and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars. Another former managing partner, Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, was arrested in New York last week.
Jane Glass, a lawyer for Naqvi in London, couldn’t be immediately reached to comment.


Monday، 22 April 2019 11:50 AM

Finally Waqar Siddique, will pay the price for his collusion in the fraud. This unlikable clown was the CRO and Naqvi's bother in law - independence of the risk function is not an issue for south asians or the DFSA.
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