AHAB wins $2.5bn case again Al Sanea

Cayman Islands court issues interim award in Algosaibi fraud case and orders Maan Al Sanea to pay $2.5 billion

The Grand Court of the Cayman Islands issued a ruling in favour of Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers (AHAB) requiring Maan Al Sanea to pay AHAB $2.5 billion, the amount requested by AHAB as an interim payment, PRNewswire said.

In a 35-page ruling the Chief Justice found that AHAB would be entitled to recover at least $2.5 billion.

The Court's award was based on what it termed "compelling" evidence of "a pattern of massive payments to [Al Sanea's] Saad Group (at times running at an average of well over $1 million per day)."

The Court found these payments, which were directed by Al-Sanea, to be "inexplicable having regard to the nature of AHAB's business" and declared that AHAB's allegations that Al-Sanea misappropriated billions of dollars were "now deemed proven against Al Sanea."

The ruling is a significant development in AHAB's recovery efforts against Maan Al Sanea, who is also currently being charged with financial crimes in Bahrain in relation to his massive fraud and is under investigation in Switzerland and the United States.

The ruling follows a default judgment entered against Al Sanea in November 2011. Under Cayman Islands procedure, the holder of default judgment may apply for an enforceable interim order for "a reasonable proportion of the damages which in the opinion of the Court are likely to be recovered." 

The ruling was based on the court's detailed review of the affidavit evidence of Simon Charlton, the Deloitte partner who led the forensic investigation. The ruling found that the specific forensic evidence of payments made from AHAB to Al Sanea and companies under his control "remains unchallenged."

AHAB told the Court that it will undertake final quantification of their losses at the end of the case against Al Sanea and other parties on their claim, PRNewswire said.

Although Al Sanea has repeatedly issued public statements denying AHAB's charges, he declined to submit any defense to AHAB's claims in the Cayman Court. Instead, he unsuccessfully disputed the Cayman court's jurisdiction, losing in both the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal and Her Majesty's Privy Council in London, the final appellate court.

"Maan Al Sanea has repeatedly said he is waiting for his day in court to defend the charges against him. Clearly, he has not and cannot," said Eric Lewis, AHAB's chief legal coordinator.

"AHAB's forensic team provided compelling affidavit evidence of misappropriation. Al Sanea cannot defend the fraud charges on the merits and the court has acted accordingly. AHAB has requested at this juncture an order for $2.5 billion to enable early action to be taken, but expects a significantly larger final award when this case is ultimately tried."

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