A London court has denied the owner of Private Equity firm Abraaj Group bail due to concerns that he may flee to Pakistan where it will be difficult to arrest him. Mr. Arif accused of stealing from investors millions of dollars when he served as the Chief Executive Officer of the now collapsed Abraaj Group.
Before its collapse, Abraaj Group was one of the significant investors in emerging markets. The Dubai-based PE Company had investments in healthcare, real estate, clean energy, and hospitality sector across Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
In Kenya, the firm has ownership stakes in Brookside Dairies, Java House, Avenue Healthcare Services, and tech firm Seven Seas technologies.
Mr. Arif was arrested two weeks ago at Heathrow Airport in London. He is under investigation for misusing $100 million collected from US investors as well as inflating the value of his PE fund to secure more investments. Two other senior officials of the defunct PE firm are also facing criminal charges from US authorities. Notable investors in the fund include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Abraaj Group started operating in 2002, and its primary focus was investments in developing markets. The firm’s troubles emerged in 2018 after investigations on the company revealed misappropriation of investors’ funds. The company is one of the largest Private – Equity firms to ever collapse.