17 June 2019
Khadem al Qubaisi (in photo), who once headed Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC), was handed a 15-year prison sentence; Mohammed Badawy al Husseiny, a US citizen who ran a subsidiary of IPIC, was sentenced to 10 years, according to the New Straits Times report. They were jointly fined $336 million.
The court statement did not identify the men by name, but people told the WSJ that the unidentified defendants were Al Qubaisi and Al Husseiny.
The court statement only mentioned that the “first defendant” (al Qubaisi) was convicted of “exploiting his job and unlawfully appropriating 149 million euros after selling shares he owns for the company he heads, without disclosing his ownership of the shares, for 210 million euros.”
The “second defendant”, Al Husseiny, was convicted of “exploiting his position and facilitating the seizure of the company’s money by” Al Qubaisi.
According to the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) civil suits, Al Qubaisi used US$471 million of allegedly stolen funds in a Luxembourg account to buy real estate in the United States, among others. These assets are being targeted by the DOJ.
He was arrested in the Emirates in 2016 and remains in prison. He was not charged at the time of his arrest. In 2015 he was replaced as managing director of IPIC and later investigated in a series of probes into misappropriated funds in connection with 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
In April 2016, Reuters reported that the United Arab Emirates’ central bank had ordered banks in the UAE to freeze and provide transaction information on bank accounts belonging to Qubaisi and Mohamed al-Husseiny. It was reported that a total of $2.4 billion that was intended to be transferred from 1MDB to Aabar Investments was instead sent to a different company, established in the British Virgin Islands by Qubaisi and al-Husseiny, called Aabar Investments PJS Ltd.
Al Qubaisi bought a penthouse condominium in downtown New York worth over $50 million, a mansion in Beverly Hills worth over $30 million, and another property in Los Angeles $15 million. He also owns six properties in France, including Paris, St. Tropez and the Cote D’Azur, where he owns three luxury villas, according to Sarawak Report.
US is intending to seize $1 billion in assets gained through this elaborate money laundering network. UK, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore are other countries investigating al Qubaisi.