No one is above the law. Not even the richest country ruled by despots in the gulf state. However, the world, it seems, has turned a blind eye to the gross injustice committed against common individuals in the Arab state.
One such sordid story is of Michael Weinberg who had filed a lawsuit of $18 million in 2010 against the government of Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE. Sadly, up to this day justice has not been served for the American, and the case still remains in the limbo, due to the non-cooperation of the government officials in the oil-rich country.
The Story of Injustice in the UAE
Weinberg, a resident of Fort Lauderdale said that he had moved to Abu Dhabi in 2008 to form a company known as American Gulf Insurance (AGI). The company was formed in partnership with two Lebanese-American brothers Amer and Azzam Rustom.
The partners had met with high-ranking officials in Abu Dhabi including Her Royal Highness Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan who was the government minister at the time. Weinberg was told that the government would help in sponsoring the company. He even received a letter from a government minister congratulating him for the formation of the company.
The investors were told to contribute $18 million for an initial public offering. An official was assigned by Sheikh Hazza to help AGI in getting started in the country.
But, later the entire money had disappeared without a trace.
Weinberg stated the government officials had forged approval forms for different purposes, such as trademark and fee approvals. The royal family members had forged bank certificates and other paperwork to steal the money from the investors.
The lawsuit that was later filed in the Fort Lauderdale court claimed thatSAIF AL MAZROUEI who was assigned to help them set up the company in the UAE had kidnapped his partner Azzam Rustom. They drove him around the desert for 12 hours and threatened to kill him. They also told him that he and his Jew partner should not seek assistance to get the money back.
After the incidence, the Americans contacted government authorities, police and other official channels in the country. But nothing worked. At last, they returned to the US and filed a case against the Abu Dhabi government for conspiracy, theft and fraud.
A Warning for Investors in UAE
The story should serve as a warning for Americans that intend to invest in the Arab oil rich country. Many well-known New York political figures had lost money in the venture including Jay Jacobs, chairman of the New York State Democratic Party, Bruce Blakeman, a GOP stalwart, and Howard Fensterman, who served as a finance chairman for Sen. Chuck Schumer.
Weinberg says that the government officials in UAE will treat you with great royalty when you show the intention to form a company. But later on, you will realize that it is only a trap set in the veil of the Arabian hospitality to dupe you into emptying your hard earned cash into their coffers.