Unicorn Investment Bank press statement regarding legal proceedings against former CEO

Press release
Published September 27th, 2011 - 09:50 GMT

Towards the end of 2010, Unicorn Investment Bank submitted a criminal complaint against its former CEO, Majid Al-Refai, to the General Prosecutor of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The General Prosecutor subsequently commissioned renowned global advisory firm Deloitte to conduct an independent investigation into the matter. The Deloitte report concluded that there were 58 alleged criminal offences committed by Majid Al Refai during his tenure at Unicorn, and the General Prosecutor has now referred the case to the Criminal Court of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

It is important to note that several reports issued in 2010 by the Central Bank of Bahrain, PriceWaterhouse Coopers and Ernst & Young arrived at similar conclusions to those detailed in the above-mentioned Deloitte report. The alleged criminal offences relate mainly to transactions by Mr. Al Refai which were not approved by the Board of Directors of Unicorn; personally appropriating and squandering Bank funds; shredding and destroying over 8000 Bank documents; and deliberately preventing the Bank’s partners, associates and other authorized entities from accessing Bank documents, thereby contravening the laws of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the rules and regulations of the Central Bank of Bahrain.

The Bank has also filed two civil cases against Majid Al-Refai and two other former employees of the Bank to retrieve funds that were misappropriated. Consequently, the Bahraini authorities have placed two travel bans on Majid Al Refai in Bahrain. Furthermore, the General Prosecutor has instructed all banks in Bahrain to freeze Majid Al Refai’s assets.

Unicorn confirms that the above-mentioned legal proceedings, which are ongoing since September 2010, are all within the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and do not affect the ongoing operations of the Bank.

Background Information

Bank Alkhair

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Bahrain, Bank Alkhair is an Islamic wholesale bank licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain, with an international presence in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Turkey.

The Bank is also a major shareholder in Burj Bank (formerly Dawood Islamic Bank), Pakistan. Bank Alkhair has completed several landmark transactions since its inception, including the establishment of t’azur, a regional Takaful company; the acquisition of Bahrain Financing Company, the oldest and one of the leading foreign exchange and remittance houses in the GCC; and the successful launch of the Strategic Acquisition Fund, a fund established to acquire strategic stakes in commercial banks globally. 

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