Progress in Algosaibi Settlement
– Appointment of Joint Directorate of Enforcement at the General Court in Al-Khobar
– Acknowledgement of Claims by Algosaibi for the purposes of Settlement
AL KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia, May 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — On 21 March 2016 the Supreme Judicial Council in Saudi Arabia issued an order establishing a three-judge Tribunal called the Joint Directorate of Enforcement at the General Court in Al-Khobar (“JDEK”). The JDEK comprises the two enforcement judges and the head of the General Court in Al-Khobar.
AHAB believes that the JDEK has the authority to address in full the claims of financial institutions against Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers (“AHAB” or the “Company”) and Maan Al Sanea.
AHAB announced today that it has recently written to a large number of financial institutions with claims against it (“Claimants”) to confirm the amounts that AHAB is willing to acknowledge for the purposes of the settlement process it initiated in May 2014. AHAB and the five-member steering committee presented the detailed terms of an agreement to settle the claims of Claimants on 28 January 2016. Since the presentation, a majority of Claimants have responded to AHAB’s invitation to agree the value of their claims. During the past weeks, Claimants representing 80% of the claims by number and 50% by value have received, or are in the process of receiving, letters from the Company acknowledging claim values. This process is on-going and the Company invites those Claimants that have not yet engaged in the claims agreement process to submit the relevant documentation to it as soon as possible.
Speaking in Dubai, UAE today, Simon Charlton (acting Chief Executive Officer and Chief Restructuring Officer of the Company) said: “The Company views the appointment of the tribunal as a positive step forward that it believes will bring an end to the long-running disputes that resulted from the failure of Mr Al Sanea’s businesses in 2009. For the first time in seven years, the Company has begun the process of acknowledging debts against it for the limited purposes of the Settlement which we believe will allow us to move forward with increased momentum.”
AHAB, along with those Claimants that have agreed claims, intends to present the terms of the proposed settlement to the JDEK for its consideration. AHAB has stated publicly since 2009 that it seeks a comprehensive and fair resolution of all outstanding claims, and it believes the proposed settlement presents the best opportunity for Claimants to resolve claims and maximize their recoveries.
AHAB remains committed to its aggressive pursuit of Maan Al Sanea and his Saad companies for the billions of dollars in funds misappropriated by them. The Company believes that significant amounts will become available from this litigation and, as AHAB intends to make these amounts available for distribution to Claimants, it will materially increase the recoveries to Claimants above amounts that might otherwise be available outside the terms of the proposed settlement.
The Company is moving ahead with its civil claims against Al Sanea in Saudi Arabia, seeking the return of: billions of dollars wrongfully taken by him using fraudulent cheques and electronic transfers; and bank shares and accrued dividends that Al Sanea wrongfully retained after his businesses collapsed. Al Sanea has refused to answer the merits of the claims, instead using various delay tactics such as meritless jurisdictional defenses and repeated adjournments.
Additionally, the Company’s case in the Cayman Islands against a number of Al Sanea’s offshore shell companies (now in liquidation) is scheduled for trial this summer. The biggest group of defendants in that case was recently forced to recognize the implausibility of its counterclaim – and amend its pleading – after it was discovered that the initial allegations relied on forged documents and faked real estate transactions. Now, seven years after AHAB filed the case, the Court will finally hear the evidence, which will show that Al Sanea wrongfully borrowed and directed billions of dollars from accounts in AHAB’s name into his Cayman Islands shell companies. AHAB has already obtained an interim judgment against Al Sanea personally for $2.5 billion, a case in which the Chief Judge of the Cayman Islands court concluded the evidence against Al Sanea demonstrates “misappropriation on a massive scale.”
In discussing the cases against Al Sanea, Simon Charlton said: “AHAB is confident of making recoveries through these civil and criminal claims such that the return to Claimants through a consensual settlement will be significantly greater than those that would otherwise be available.”
AHAB is also pursuing organizations that aided or were instrumental in Maan Al Sanea’s ability to perpetrate his global fraud, including The International Banking Corporation (“TIBC”). The Company recently sued TIBC in Saudi Arabia for USD 1.2 billion for facilitating numerous fraudulent transactions, using false documentation created by TIBC’s management, which caused severe damage to AHAB and a large number of financial institutions.