Former Minister of State for Financial Affairs Mohammed Khalfan Kharbash, who presided over the Deyaar Development Company Board of Directors, will soon appear in court in Dubai on charges of involvement in financial corruption.
According to a Dubai Public Prosecution press release, Attorney General Essam Essa Al-Humaidan referred those involved in financial corruption cases in the Deyaar Company to the Dubai Criminal Court after the prosecution completed an extensive investigation initiated last May. The Deyaar Development Company is one of the largest real estate companies registered in the emirate.
Among the charges filed against those involved are embezzlement of public funds, harming state interests and aiding Zack Shahin, a U.S. citizen of Lebanese ancestry, to abscond with money belonging to the company. Shahin is accused of complicity in the crimes and of accepting bribes. Another suspect, fugitive John Dakonha, an Indian national, was also referred to the court in connection with the case. The cases against this cast of characters have stirred up local controversy although experts and observers view it as reflecting the Dubai government’s seriousness in its fight against corruption.
Al-Humaidan added that two other related cases are also being considered. The first was referred to the Dubai Criminal Court and involves former Deyaar board member Saad Mohammed Sharif Abd Al-Razaki and businessman Ismael Aqeel Al-Janahi, both of whom are Emiratis. The two men will appear in court on charges that the former accepted bribes from the latter in violation of the mandates of his position.
In the second case, nine suspects were referred to the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours, including Zack Shahin, former chief executive officer of Deyaar, Jansian Krishna Kumar, the Indian director of Master Brand Middle East, Ltd., Lebanese national Sharbel Butrous Al-Hasrouni, the director of sales at Deyaar, and others of various nationalities.
A financial monitoring report submitted to the Public Prosecution last November states that Zack Shahin's embezzlement exceeded 31 million dirhams (US$8.4 million) while the actual amount seized by the suspect and his partners, may be millions more. The suspects are also accused of having transferred embezzled funds between accounts in several banks in Switzerland, Lebanon and the U.S.