Ex-Drake & Scull CEO vows legal action against 'unfounded allegations'

Khaldoun Al Tabari says he has been given no opportunity to respond to internal investigation leading to claims he and his daughter owe $272m to the firm he founded

United Arab Emirates, July 12, 2018

Former Drake and Scull CEO Khaldoun Al Tabari has hit back at allegations that he and his daughter owe the firm as much as AED1 billion ($272.3 million) and has vowed to initiate libel claims against “unfounded news” made against him.

In a statement sent to Arabian Business, Al Tabari said that he refutes “in the strongest terms any suggestion that I or my daughter owe Drake & Scull International PJSC (DSI) any money at all, let alone the huge sums mentioned by some media outlets, and any suggestion that the previous management of DSI was guilty of any wrongdoing, impropriety, negligence or incompetence.”

Al Tabari added that he and his daughter “acted at all times in accordance with all legal, regulatory and governance obligations, and in the interests of the company, its employees and its shareholders.”

Additionally, Al Tabari said he was prepared to initiate libel claims against “news reports based on such falsehoods” that could cause irreparable reputational damage to him or his daughter.

“Any attempt to discredit or defame us will be taken seriously and is likely to have legal consequence,” he said.

In the statement, Al Tabari categorically denied that any claims have been made against him, and said he was “given no opportunity to respond to the supposed internal investigation by DSI.”

Al Tabari also responded to a statement made by DSI to the Dubai Financial Market, which purported to confirm “material financial violations from the previous management”.

“No such allegations have been put to me,” he said. “It saddens me that such unfounded allegations are raised against me by a company that I set up in the UAE more than 20 years ago.”

Al Tabari stepped down as CEO in October 2016, sold his stake in the company and resigned as a board member. The statement added that all financial dealings of DSI are audited by firms such as Ernst & Young and PwC, which are approved by the board.

“In this context, it comes as a surprise that such baseless allegations are raised now, nearly two years after I have stepped down from my position,” he said.

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