The Dubai Financial Services Authority has announced it has fined The Abraaj Group head Arif Naqvi $136 million for financial irregularities.
The DFSA revealed Arif Naqvi has disputed the findings and that the parties would now present their cases to the Financial Market Tribunal (FMT).
The financial penalty will be stayed pending the decision of the FMT, while the ban on activities at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) will remain enforced, the DFSA said in a statement on its website.
The Pakistani businessman could not immediately be reached for comment.
DFSA said Naqvi “was knowingly involved in misleading investors over the misuse of their funds by Abraaj Investment Limited (AIML), a Cayman Islands-registered firm not authorized by the DFSA”.
“The significant fine imposed on Mr. Naqvi reflects the seriousness of these offences and is based on Mr. Naqvi’s earnings from the Abraaj Group,” it stated.
The DFSA also fined former Abraaj executive Waqar Siddique $1.2 million and banned him from the DIFC. Siddique has also disputed the DFSA’s actions, and his fine has also been stayed pending a decision by the tribunal.
Siddique could not immediately be reached for comment.
The UAE in recent years has been tightening regulations regarding financial crime.