Sunday, 5 December 2021

Abraaj Group founder Arif Naqvi released on bail

Arif Naqvi, founder of Abraaj. . Sarah Dea/The National

LONDON: Abraaj Group founder Arif Naqvi has been released on bail after arranging for the payment of £15 million – the largest security ever ordered in the UK’s judicial history.

A source at the Westminster Magistrates Court confirmed to The News that the Pakistani businessman and philanthropist has been released from Wandsworth Prison after £15 million in cash was deposited with the court – which took over three weeks to raise since the decision granting him bail in early May.

A court source said: “Arif Naqvi is free. He has been released to his home after meeting all the conditions imposed by the Court, including the payment of security.

Naqvi’s bail application was also supported by three sureties, who offered an additional GBP 650,000 in surety in support of his bail.

The Abraaj founder, 58, was arrested at Heathrow Airport on Wednesday 10 April by officers from the Met’s Extradition Unit on behalf of the US authorities.

Naqvi was granted conditional bail at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, which was appealed, unsuccessfully, by the US Government. Mr. Justice Supperstone had ruled that the US Government, had not provided enough evidence to demonstrate that Mr Naqvi, despite the allegations made against him by the US Government, was at risk of failing to surrender to the court or that he would violate any conditions of bail – hence deemed not a flight risk. It was accepted by the US Government that Naqvi was a man of good character with ties to the UK. The judge also dismissed any suggestion that Naqvi could access a private jet, stating that there was no evidence to back up the claim or that he would be assisted to flee the UK by any Pakistani official, as had been implied.

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