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Smellie rules in billion dollar Saudi case

Chief Justice Anthony Smellie gave his ruling today (31 May) in Cayman’s largest case, AHAB vs Al Sanea.

With billions of dollars at stake, allegations of fraud, forgery, and conspiracy, Chief Justice Anthony Smellie delivered his ruling in Cayman’s largest civil trial.

In his, over 13-hundred page judgment the Chief Justice dismissed the fraud claims, as well as, the counterclaims leveled in the billion-dollar case.

The main trial AHAB v Al-Sanea and others started in 2017 in Grand Court, with AHAB having filed its initial complaint on 10 November 2009 and filed for restraining orders in July 2009. All in connection with the collapse of the Al Gosaibi business empire, which it claimed was a result of fraud by Maan Al-Sanea.

Al-Sanea, who married a daughter of one of the founders of AHAB, was put in charge of the firm’s financial-services business after marrying into the family. It is alleged that over a 20-year period, he negotiated huge amounts of loans, most unsecured, on the strength of the AHAB name. By 2009, banks hit by the credit crisis stopped lending and AHAB defaulted on payments to them.

As a result, the Algosaibi family claimed it was the victim of a massive $9.2 billion fraud due to Al-Sanea’s manipulation of AHAB’s finances.

The case brought Cayman’s local judiciary and legal liquidation firms into the international limelight from all indications it seems the decision is headed for the Court of Appeal.

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Jevaughnie Ebanks

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