Leaked Documents Reveal The role of Abdullah Al Rajhi, Chairman of Al Rajhi Bank in Tameer’s Fraud Case

Leaked Documents Reveal The role of Abdullah Al Rajhi, Chairman of Al Rajhi Bank in Tameer’s Fraud Case

  • September 24, 2019

The Washington-based Global Justice Foundation is currently investigating its first case – The Tameer Holding Case. It is one of the largest fraud cases in the real estate sector in the Middle East. Where people involved used their financial and political influence to commit fraud, racketeering, and white-collar fraud. The Global Justice Foundation (GJF) has studied a cache of leaked documents that revealed, in detail, the role of individuals and companies in stealing the share of the founding partner of Tameer. As well as hundreds of customers, in a scheme called “Tameer is intended to die. ” The fraud that was led by Abdullah Al-Rajhi, Chairman of Al-Rajhi Bank, and his brother Ahmad Al-Rajhi, the Saudi Minister of Labor and Social Development.

GJF will shine the light on this case and will publish the leaked documents and pieces of evidence that confirm the collusion of 5 brothers of the influential Saudi Al-Rajhi family. The scheme was strategized, authorized, and implemented with the involvement of executives, financial institutions, and a member of the UAE’s ruling family. Recent events and evidence also show the collusion of auditor Ali Al-Kaitoob and Dubai Courts expert Mohammad Saeed Al-Shareef in falsifying documents

submitted to the court and misrepresenting evidence available to the court, respectively. These activities will be explained in subsequent videos, case studies, and academic studies.

Tameer was established in 2003 by Canadian businessman Omar Ayesh. Tameer is well known for building the Princess Tower in Dubai, the tallest residential building in the world according to Guinness book of records.

In 2005, Ahmad Al-Rajhi bought 50% of Tameer, and in 2007, the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) resulted in a 75%/25% share in Tameer Holding by Ahmed Al Rajhi and Omar Ayesh respectively. In 2007, the Gulf International Bank evaluated their property portfolio as $5 billion USD before its proposed IPO valuation. Following this agreement, Ahmed Al Rajhi committed what could be the biggest case of fraud in Middle East history, to defraud Ayesh’s quarter share that was worth $1.25 billion.

The Al Rajhi family owns the largest Islamic bank in the world, the Al Rajhi Bank which has a net worth of $90 billion, and Al Rajhi Holding Group, a diversified business group based out of Saudi Arabia. Abdallah Al Rajhi is the eldest brother and chairman of his family’s bank. Also, he is one of the 1,000 richest people in the world. Ahmed Al Rajhi is Vice-Chairman of Al Rajhi Holding and serves as Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Labor and Social Development.

The leaked documents, validated by the Dubai Courts, confirm a completely documented plan to misappropriate Tameer and defraud Omar Ayesh and hundreds of victims, and the involvement of not only the Al Rajhi brothers but also other Tameer executives. This included misappropriation of assets and transferring employees.

Abdallah Al Rajhi had no legal ties to Tameer, but he was the final decision maker on many matters related to the company and played a major role in the misappropriation of assets. Under Abdallah’s leadership, the Al Rajhi family fraudulently transferred or “sold” Tameer assets to shell companies they owned to undermine Tameer’s value, Ayesh’s share, and deposits for units paid by hundreds of customers.

Princess Tower – Dubai

Abdullah Al Rajhi was directly involved in the decisions of asset sales. On October 10, 2013, an unconditional offer was given by a buyer at market value for Tameer’s three Business Bay plots at 900 million AED (245 million USD). On October 11  2013 Federico Tauber emailed Abdullah and cc’d Ahmed Al Rajhi about the unconditional offer. The assets were eventually transferred to shell companies Sunstone and Moonstone at diminished values; to create the guise of a legitimate arm’s length sale at approximately 242 million AED (66 million USD). The Hard Rock cafe plot received a purchase offer for 730 million AED (200 million USD); and ultimately was sold at 100 million AED (28 million USD).

A rendering image of the suggested project on Sheikh Zayed Street plot – Dubai

In November 2013, an extremely confidential communication was sent by Frederico to Abdullah and Ahmed Al Rajhi. It was sent as a confidential fax in order to protect the contents and avoid any leak of written admission that the asset transactions were, in fact, illegal, confirming that although no “real sale” existed between Tameer and Gemstone and its subsidiary shell companies, a payment of 13.7 million AED ($3.73 million) for land-transfer fees was required to avoid an attack from Omar Ayesh and Tameer customers.

While creating so-called shell companies is not criminal, it is. However, a crime to frame an entire structure of companies exclusively around the need to further fraud; and avoid future litigation or arbitration. In the United States, the Al Rajhis’ scheme would constitute financial fraud, embezzlement, conflict of interest, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of assets; all as part of a pattern of both civil and criminal racketeering laws.

Considering the Al Rajhi Bank is publicly traded, Abdallah’s participation in such embezzlement makes this betrayal of public trust; even more galling. Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority (CMA) has a responsibility to investigate Abdullah Al Rajhi for criminal fraud activities; as he serves as a board member of a publicly-traded company.
Ahmed Al Rajhi directed the execution of the fraud scheme in cooperation with Abdullah Al Rajhi; as shown by the thousands of leaked documents made available to the Global Justice Foundation. Ahmed was involved in the threatening of witnesses and a court expert. Most recently before the expert committee could release its final decision, the chair of the expert committee who was threatened resigned. Beyond the fraud itself, Ahmed’s obstruction of justice and threatening the court expert has violated UAE’s criminal penal code articles 41 and 42; a matter that unfortunately was never investigated by authorities.

The lack of accountability is a risk for the UAE. Whose reputation as a safe place for international business is jeopardized when this kind of criminal behavior goes unpunished. Indeed, last December, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid of Dubai pledged that “No one is above the law in Dubai”. Also that “justice delayed is justice denied”. Justice, in this case, isn’t just the moral thing to do, but it’s in the UAE’s best interests especially for attracting foreign investors. The Reputation Institute dropped the UAE’s ranking from No. 27 in 2017 to No. 36 in 2018.  If the country can’t deliver justice to victims, who knows how much further it will drop?