Maan al-Sanea

Arrested #Saudi tycoon faces fraud claim in English courts

Saudi billionaire Maan Al-Sanea is accused in the English courts of a $650m (£495m) fraud that has triggered a battle between hedge funds and the French bank BNP Paribas. He was arrested by Saudi authorities in October on charges of evading justice and owing large sums of money to creditors. Maan’s Saad Group collapsed in 2009, triggering a long battle to recover billions he had shipped offshore to the Cayman Islands. The High Court trial concerns the arrangement of a $650m sukuk, which was paid to Mr Maan personally to lease land he owned. Judgment in a separate claim brought by the hedge funds against him is due on Thursday. Subsequent arrests of prominent Saudi businessmen sparked debate over whether the moves represent consolidation of power or a genuine crackdown on corruption.

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