Back to the complete issue
Sunday, 14 April 2019

Abraaj founder and managing partner arrested on fraud charges

Abraaj founder Aref Naqvi and managing partner Mustafa Abdel-Wadood have been arrested on fraud charges at the request of US prosecutors, according to Reuters. US prosecutors are seeking extradition for Naqvi, who was arrested in the UK on Friday. “Mr Naqvi maintains his innocence, and he fully expects to be cleared of any charges,” a statement from Naqvi’s external PR firm reads. Abdel-Wadood, who appeared at a federal court hearing in Manhattan, pleaded not guilty to charges of securities fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy. Prosecutors have accused Naqvi and Abdel-Wadood of artificially inflating the value of Abraaj’s EM assets by more than USD 500 mn and of using the proceeds to fund Abraaj’s own operating costs without notifying investors, according to Bloomberg. Prosecutors also allege that Naqvi may have used the funds for personal purposes. Abraaj was widely seen as a standard-bearer of emerging markets private equity before it collapsed last year amid concerns about the misuse of funds.

The story is getting major play in the financial press: The FT, theWSJ and The National are all opining on the latest twist in the story.


Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.