The criminal case in UAE relates to a cheque for 798.9 million dirhams

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A United Arab Emirates court postponed judgment until Tuesday in a case against the founder of private equity firm Abraaj, Arif Naqvi, and another executive for issuing a cheque without sufficient funds, two lawyers close to the case said.

The criminal case in the emirate of Sharjah relates to a cheque for 798.9 million dirhams ($218 million), signed by Naqvi and fellow executive Rafique Lakhani, and written to Hamid Jafar, another founding shareholder in Abraaj.

Dubai-based Abraaj has filed for provisional liquidation in the Cayman Islands after months of turmoil related to a row with investors over the use of their money in a $1 billion healthcare fund. Liquidators are also seeking to sell its investment management business.

Zafer Oghli and Khalid al-Bannay, lawyers for Jafar, told reporters the session was postponed until Tuesday.

Naqvi’s lawyer Habib al-Mulla said the hearing had been adjourned and the parties were still in discussion to reach a settlement.

Neither Lakhani nor his lawyer could be reached for comment.

The punishment for issuing a bounced cheque under UAE law can be jail or a fine.

Naqvi is the single biggest shareholder of Abraaj Holdings, which owns the firm’s investment management business.

($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham)
(Reuters)

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