Khadem al-Qubaisi, the former managing director of International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), has been arrested in Abu Dhabi for a fraud investigation allegedly linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), according to Wall Street Journal.
In line with its standard operating procedure of always quoting “people familiar with the investigations”, the WSJ claimed that Khadem al-Qubaisi was detained last week over his alleged role in defrauding the Malaysian state investment firm as detailed in the United States’ Justice Department (DOJ) lawsuit to seize assets linked to 1MDB.
The UAE previously seized al-Qubaisi’s travel documents and froze all his assets.
IPIC sacked Khadem al-Qubaisi last year and he was later accused of corruption involving deals between the Abu Dhabi sovereign fund and 1MDB.
Al-Qubaisi was among key figures identified in the DOJ lawsuit to recover more than US$1 billion in assets linked to 1MDB, which was described as the largest case ever brought by the country’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.
The WSJ did not state any official confirmation on the arrest, except for claiming that a lawyer for Khadem al-Qubaisi, 45, declined to comment.
Last year WSJ reported that some RM2.6 billion of 1MDB had found its way to Prime Minister Najib Razak private account, only to retract it early this year, claiming that the money was a political donation from an Arab source after all.