Home Global Village Arif Naqvi, founder of Abraaj charged with fraud in US

Arif Naqvi, founder of Abraaj charged with fraud in US


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Arif Naqvi, the founder and, a private-equity firm based in Dubai, was arrested from an airport in the United Kingdom by the Interpol, and later, charged with fraud and conspiracy in New York with regards to activities that resulted in the collapse of his firm.

He has been accused of defrauding many of the firms’ investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At a hearing in the Manhattan federal court, Assistant US Attorney Andrea Griswold stated that Pakistan-born Arif Naqvi and his managing partner, Mustafa Abdel-Wadood had been arrested on charges of fraud and conspiracy.

Naqvi and his partner are accused of inflating the value of the holdings of Abraaj Group, and “stealing hundreds of millions of dollars”.

Both the accused have pleaded not guilty and have denied all the charges they have been accused with. Naqvi and his partner are accused of inflating the value of the holdings of Abraaj Group, and “stealing hundreds of millions of dollars”. Griswold stated that the prosecution has identified that Naqvi and Abdel-Wadood, along with others not mentioned in the papers presented to the court, collaborated to “artificially inflate” the values of the developing market investments of their Dubai-based firm by over $500 million.

The charges further state that Abraaj group used the money it was given for investing in developing nations to sustain its liquidity and meet its operation expenses without informing the investors who had given these generous grants. She added that the charges filed against Abraaj and Abel-Wadood were “short on detail” but the authorities intended to file more charges towards the end of May.

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She stated that the authorities couldn’t compile the indictments in lengthier details as they moved quickly to arrest Abdel-Wadood as soon as they learnt he was in US with his family while touring colleges for his son. Naqvi and his partner are accused of inflating the value of the holdings of Abraaj Group, and “stealing hundreds of millions of dollars”.

Naqvi and his partner are accused of inflating the value of the holdings of Abraaj Group, and “stealing hundreds of millions of dollars”.

Griswold stated that the prosecution has identified that Naqvi and Abdel-Wadood, along with others not mentioned in the papers presented to the court, collaborated to “artificially inflate” the values of the developing market investments of their Dubai-based firm by over $500 million. The charges further state that Abraaj group used the money it was given for investing in developing nations to sustain its liquidity and meet its operation expenses without informing the investors who had given these generous grants.

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Arif Naqvi has also been accused of using the money of these investors for himself and sharing the funds with others in his “inner circle” including Abdel-Wadood, who is a resident of Dubai. The two have been formally charged with securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy.

During the court hearing on Thursday, Griswold stated that the US prosecutors have “secretly recorded calls and meetings, encrypted messages” and “millions of documents and computer files” as evidence to substantiate the charges filed against Abdel-Wadood.

Abraaj Group, one of the largest private equity firms in the Middle East, came under a crisis last May after many high-profile and influence investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation amongst others, raised accusations of mismanagement over $1 billion worth of healthcare fund that was given to the firm. Arif Naqvi has denied these charges and maintains that he is innocent and has not used the funds for his personal advantage.

This article was written by Mina Jahangir and edited by Sana Mushtaq. 

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