Arif Naqvi, the founder and CEO of Abraaj who was arrested in the United Kingdom last month has been released from the prison after paying ~$19 million (£15 million) bail. The amount of bail that was granted earlier in May is the largest ever in UK’s judicial history. He was released from the prison on Tuesday night after the bail that took three weeks to raise was deposited with the court.
According to Bloomberg, he is supposed to surrender his travel documents, wear an electronic tag and stay in his London home, during the bail.
The former Abraaj CEO and another Abraaj executive Mustafa Abdel-Wadood were arrested on the US charges that he defrauded Abraaj’s investors, with prosecutors claiming that both of them had lied about Araabj’s performance from 2014 to 2018 inflating the value of their funds by $500 million. The prosecutors had also claimed that Abraaj had used money designated for investments on its operational expenses without informing the investors.
Arif Naqvi’s spokesman, speaking to Bloomberg, said, “These past weeks have been an extremely challenging time for Mr. Naqvi and his family. He maintains his innocence, and he fully expects to be cleared of any charges.”
Abraaj, founded in 2002 by Arif Naqvi, was the leading private equity firm of the Middle East with assets close to $14 billion under its management during its peak, before being forced into liquidation last year after after investors in its health fund including Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and International Finance Corporation complained that the firm has misused the investor money.