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26 Oct 2022, 11:16 am

DFSA fines and bans former Abraaj COO, Mr Waqar Siddique, for knowing involvement in Abraaj misconduct

Mr Siddique has withdrawn his FMT review of the DFSA’s decision

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) published its Decision Notice against Mr Waqar Siddique (Mr Siddique) in January 2022 for serious failings in respect of the Abraaj Group. Mr Siddique was fined USD 1,150,000 (AED 4,223,375) and prohibited and restricted from performing any function in or from the DIFC. Mr Siddique referred the DFSA’s findings in the Decision Notice for review by the Financial Markets Tribunal (FMT), an independent appeal tribunal. 

On 14 October 2022, as a result of settlement with the DFSA, Mr Siddique withdrew his FMT reference and therefore will not contest the DFSA’s findings as set out in the Decision Notice dated June 2021. The settlement included arrangements to secure payment to the DFSA, notwithstanding the fact that Mr Siddique has not been a resident in the UAE for a number of years.

Mr Siddique was a member of the Abraaj Group’s senior management team and was also an Authorised Individual as ACLD’s Licensed Director. In those roles, Mr Siddique was knowingly involved in certain Abraaj Investment Management Limited (AIML) and Abraaj Capital Limited (ACLD) breaches.

Mr Siddique was knowingly involved in AIML misleading and deceiving investors over the use of their monies within funds managed by Abraaj, including by being a signatory to loan agreements used to produce misleading bank balance confirmations and misleading financial statements. Mr Siddique was knowingly involved in ACLD’s contraventions of not maintaining its Capital Requirements, as over a five-year period he authorised the majority of temporary cash transfers at quarterly reporting period ends. In doing so, Mr Siddique also failed to act with integrity in carrying out his Licensed Function at ACLD.

Ian Johnston, Chief Executive of the DFSA, said: “The DFSA fined and banned Mr Siddique for his knowing involvement in serious wrongdoing at Abraaj and to act as a deterrent against misconduct by senior management.  It continues to be a priority of the DFSA to hold senior individuals to account. As with the former Abraaj CFO, Mr Ashish Dave, we have pursued payment of the fine even though the individual has not been a resident in the UAE for a number of years.  This demonstrates the DFSA’s commitment to pursuing action against subjects and collecting the fines imposed on them, irrespective of their locations.”

A copy of the DFSA's Decision Notices can be found in the Regulatory Actions section of the DFSA website.

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