Al Sanea assets remain frozen

Maan Al Sanea, the head of SAAD Group, failed to overturn a freezing order on his worldwide assets in a British High Court.

However, the court eased the order to allow Mr. Al Sanea US$4 million spending money per year.

The freezing order resulted from a legal dispute between Mr. Al Sanea’s Saad Group and fellow Saudi conglomerate Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi and Brothers and was issued by courts in the Cayman Islands and the UK.

AHAB alleged in a law suit in New York in July that Mr. Al Sanea, when working as a financial director with the group, falsified documents and committed fraud by diverting up to $10bn of Algosaibi funds to his own SAAD companies.

At the court hearing in London on Monday Mr. Al Sanea denied these allegation for the first time in detail the Financial Times reported.

‘Mr. Al Sanea utterly rejects those allegations and disputes those allegations. There is simply no truth in them whatsoever,’ Mr. Al Sanea’s lawyer said.

Mr. Al Sanea submitted a statement to the court, denying that he had forged documents or breached his duties towards AHAB. He instead claimed that AHAB was making ‘groundless, false and prejudicial allegations’ in foreign countries to ‘excuse its own failures to meet its financial obligations’.

He also contended that he was asked to ‘assist Ahab with its problems’ in November last year and aims to detail how he has helped the business financially.

The judge turned down the petition to set aside the freezing order and adjourned the matter to a further hearing in December, but increased the limit on Mr. Al Sanea living expenses from $10,000 a week to $1 million a quarter.

Mr. Al Sanea’s lawyers had demanded at $30 million a year, arguing that his monthly utility bills alone total $800,000 and he also had to finance his private zoo, which included among others giraffes and lions.