• Andrew Harris

Another property developer duped in the UAE

"When he [Ryan Cornelius] was returning to Dubai after a working trip abroad in 2008 however, Ryan was shocked when he was detained and then arrested at the airport. He was inexplicably charged with fraud, and soon after Charles Ridley was also arrested, as well as several former employees of DIB. The bank, now headed by a new chairman, Mohammed Shaibani, alleged that the $500 million line of credit had been granted for the purpose of trade finance and had been unlawfully diverted to property development.

It subsequently emerged that Mohammed Kharbash, the former DIB chairman, had granted the loan to Ryan and his partner in exchange for equity in The Plantation, unbeknownst to Ryan. Kharbash had been investigated for other improprieties and removed as chairman, but all of his agreements were scrutinized, including his secret deal with Ridley’s associate Eren Nil regarding Ryan’s project.

Kharbash, a member of the ruling family, was never prosecuted for any misconduct. Shaibani, who is also head of Dubai’s security police, head of the Ruler’s Diwan, and a board member of Dubai’s four largest property companies, decided to go after Ryan.

DIB seized all of the assets he had pledged under the restructured loan agreement, including 3 properties in the UK and the family home. Ryan’s family was evicted and forced into the street. All of his companies fell into insolvency, and DIB foreclosed on the billion dollar prime stretch of real estate earmarked for The Plantation."

Read the full article at detainedindubai.org

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