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Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority Announces Lawsuit against Farhad Azima in London High Court

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The following is a statement from The Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA), the investment arm of the UAE Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah:

The Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA), the investment arm of the UAE Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, has filed a lawsuit against US-Iranian Farhad Azima in the London High Court.

The case brought by the RAKIA centres around two separate claims of misconduct. The first claims centres on the sale of the Sheraton Metechi Palace Hotel in Tbilisi from RAKIA Georgia to Eurasia Hotel Holdings Ltd, a company beneficially owned by Mr Houshang Hosseinpour. RAKIA alleges that Mr Azima took a ‘secret commission’, that went way beyond the agreed 5% commission of the sale price of the Hotel and in fact led to him receiving a 10% interest in the Hotel worth $6.25 million.

Other allegations made by RAKIA suggests Mr Azima paid, the then CEO of RAKIA Georgia, Khater Massaad $500,000 for his facilitation of the deal. Massaad has recently been arrested in Saudi Arabia and is awaiting extradition.

The second aspect of the case brought by RAKIA against Azima concerns a joint venture proposed by him in late 2015 to buy military aircraft valued at $52 million. RAKIA claims that the proposal was in fact an attempt to deceive RAKIA out of millions of dollars.

The High Court claim form states that “Mr Azima was aware that the joint venture submitted... grossly overstated the value of the aircraft” and that “Mr Azima [falsely] represented… that the proposed joint venture had the ‘backing’ of the US government, including that the US Government would sponsor and support the proposed joint venture and would serve as its ultimate customer.”

RAKIA is now seeking $2.6 million in damages. The main trial date is yet to be confirmed.

Contact information

RAKIA Media Office
E: RAK@bellpottinger.com
T: +44 20 3772 2460

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