Dubai Investors demand money back from Sheikh Maktoum Al Fajer Properties
Criminal Complaint filed in Germany against Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum CEO of Dubai Developer Al Fajer Properties
October 2011 Germany – Dubai
A German elderly couple , today 80 + 50 years old who have been Dubai Tourists since a decade, bought in 2005 an apartment at Nakheel´s Dubai Residential Falcon Tower located on Plot H3 Jumeirah Lake Towers. The completion of this Tower should be March 2008 but the apartment was never delivered and they end up in a Horror scenario when the development was transferred from Nakheel to Al Fajer Properties in 2006.
After have been mislead, deprived of their property rights by illegal actions and extortion ,financial and mental extremely damaged by receiving several threats from Al Fajer Properties since 2008 upon 2009, a criminal complaint was filed in Germany already in August 2009 against the CEO and President of Al Fajer Properties, Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum. The witness hearings and investigations in Germany are still going on.
In 2006 the Residential development Falcon Tower Jumeirah Lake Towers was transferred from Nakheel to DMCC ( 100% Government) and Al Fajer Properties was named by DMCC as new Developer of the Falcon Tower.
DMCC ensured in writing that the terms of Al Fajer´s purchase was that Al Fajer Properties will developing the Falcon Tower with the same design, same unit specifications and price at which the couple purchased original at Nakheel. It was agreed between Al Fajer Properties to take 1:1 over the once valid contractual obligation – just the completion date will be now in December 2008.
DMCC transferred the 45 % already paid installments paid once by the couple to Nakheel, in 2007 to Al Fajer Properties.
A Financial Statement, hold by the couple, from DMCC and Al Fajer Properties shows this evidently.
- The process was accompanied by a lawyer of the couple, the correspondence show evidence that Al Fajer agreed to the named conditions and stept 1:1 in the former contractual obligations.
Left in the illusion everything went fine, Al Fajer Properties start in 2008 to threat the couple to sign and agree to a new contract.
This contract was given to the couple in November 2007 in form of a draft in presence of their lawyer and staff members of Al Fajer Properties. It was a blank document , containing only terms and conditions but not containing any Building constitution, no Apartment specification, no price, and no other relevant declarations. It was a draft with no specification. Within this draft Al Fajer themself was not named as developer, just as seller. The Tower on Plot H3 was quoted in the Header now as Mixed Use Building ( Residential/Commercial) and renamed to Jumeirah Business Centre 8.
Several correspondence upon January 2008 sent to Al Fajer Properties to complete the relevant documentation failed. Al Fajer didn`t provide the relevant Documentation.
March 2008 Al Fajer Properties appointed a new CEO and President, Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum. Starting on March 10, 2008 the couple received threats to deprive them of the property and simply return the amount,unless they did not sign and agree to the incomplete blank draft contract.
After receiving this threats from Al Fajer Properties, the lawyer of the couple ask Al Fajer to refrain from such illegal actions. The actions of Al Fajer have been mentioned to RERA Dubai.
Al Fajer Properties didn`t retrain and repeated in letters upon 31 March 2008 the same threats to the couple.
After this date it remain silent and Al Fajer didn`t react.
A letter wrote by the couple to Al Fajer Properties in June 2008, brought a reaction of a lawyer instructed namely instructed to do so by the CEO Maktoum Hasher Maktoum and showed willingness to pay a full compensation based on the damage cause by Al Fajer Properties to the couple. The discussion was about the sum and damage caused by Al Fajer, based upon the event to enable the couple to buy an adequate apartment. The market price of such an apartment was at that time over 2 Million AED.
After several delays of Al Fajer´s lawyer to step in a negotiation, a concrete willingness from Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum to provide a fair compensation was shown in September 2008.
The correspondence was hold in written form via Email between the lawyers.
A clear calculation about the caused damage and the therefrom resulted compensation sum was presented by the couples lawyer. But Maktoum Hasher Maktoum rejected this and set out a fixed sum, which would have caused the couple still a damage of 600.000 AED.
Finally the so called good will of Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum end up in further threats by Al Fajer Properties upon a statement October 2008, by not taking the now offered amount, to return only the amount of the once paid 45%. ( 345.000 AED). Within this letter have also been threatened that they contacted in April 2008 a Journalist providing him what happened to them, they would get in trouble if they made the story public in the future.
No more correspondence sent to Al Fajer Properties or their lawyer were answered after January 2009.
Later it was revealed by the couple , over a document provided to a foreign court, that Al Fajer Properties CEO Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum sold on March 31, 2008 the Tower Plot H3 Jumeirah Lake Towers as a 100% Commercial Tower to Dynasty Zarooni .
The Price per sqft within this MOU, agreed between this parties, was 2050 AED. This however was nearly the triple of the price Al Fajer had to deliver the 1098 sqft apartment of the couple, purchase it for total 775 000 AED and on which was Al Fajer in the contractual obligation to deliver it.
This document in original also revealed that Al Fajer Properties didn`t intend to develop a Residential Building on Plot H3, nor a Residential Mixed use Building like quoted in their new draft contract on March 2008, the time frame in which the deal with Dynasty Zarooni was already arranged and new Brochures have been already in the printing for a sales promotion of the now 100 % Commercial Tower on Plot H3.
This document uncovered why the couple should have been mislead and been left in the illusion of a now Mixed used Residential Tower, the reason of unwillingness of Al Fajer Properties to provide the missing declaration and documentation of the building constitution within the draft contract, to which they extorted the couple several times to sign in March 2008 .
Upon today October 2011, Al Fajer Properties is still holding the since 2005 45% paid installments ( 345.000 AED) from the couple and is not showing any positive will to repay this amount nor remembering the once shown will of a compensation.
The Tower however on Plot H3 Jumeirah Lake Towers , which was converted by Al Fajer in a Commercial Building in March 2008 ,renamed to Jumeirah Business Centre 8 , sold in March 2008 to Dynasty Zarooni, is not completed until today.
From 2010 until 2011 Al Fajer Properties was several times contacted directly via email and an adress of a Lawyer who presented Maktoum Hasher. Within this correspondence it has been asked several times to pay the outstanding debts to the couple. Upon today Al Fajer Properties resists to do so.
In a last correspondence hold with an other lawyer of Al Fajer Properties in 2010 it was quoted, that his client, Maktoum Hasher Maktoum cannot remember that the couple had ever claims against him and that he never offered to repay the investments for the purchased accommodation. His further provocation was : ” Can you please send a copy of whatever contract you believe exists between Al Fajer Properties and your clients” ” If you supply evidence to support their assertion losses attributable to Al Fajer, my client ( Maktoum Hasher) will then review it.
The lawyer was after this correspondence informed that a criminal complaint ( by providing him a copy of the complaint) was already filed against his client and that it is extremely remarkable, due to the evident correspondence of March 2008 until October 2008 from other lawyers of Al Fajer, that his client Maktoum Hasher Maktoum start now in 2010 to simulate not to be in the acknowledge that there was still a claim against Al Fajer Properties and him and that he cannot remember his acts when he threat them in March and October by saying just returning a refund of the paid installments to the couple.
Misleading advertisements and press releases, overselling of non existing space and the missing down payments are among the buyers’ documented complaints, according to Moses Oye, a British investor and spokesperson for the Al Fajer Properties Investors Group having investors from US, UK, Russia, Iran, India, Canada & Pakistan.
In reality, the photos were taken at another Al Fajer Properties site and currently there is only a hole in the ground at the Ebony Ivory project, according to Oye.
“Had we known that Al Fajer Properties was presenting false and misleading photographs, we would never have invested in the development,” he said.
“In fact, some investors have already filed criminal cases for misrepresentation with the Dubai Public Prosecutor.”
In the past year, there has been virtually no construction on the site, said Oye. In addition, investors have learned that the developer sold approximately 250,000 square feet more space than the maximum built-up area allowed by government permit – another indicator of potential fraud selling air.
Most importantly, Al Fajer Properties paid Dynasty Zarooni Inc approximately $55 million of the $140 million collected in down payments that should have been deposited in an escrow account, Oye said. “We demand our money back and want to know why Al Fajer gave those funds to Dynasty Zarooni rather than use them for construction,” continued Oye.
“The law sets a punishment of imprisonment and fines for any person who embezzles payments made for the purpose of construction of real estate project.”
To date, RERA has ignored the investors’ demands of a transparent investigation and the evident violations of RERA regulations and UAE criminal laws in order to serve the interests of Sheikh Maktoum Bin Hasher Al Maktoum and Al Fajer Properties, said Oye.
“What do you do when the independent government agency trusted by the Ruler of Dubai to regulate and monitor the real estate developer’s performance actually participates in a cover-up operation that deprives investors of their rights?
What does that say to the world about the security of real estate investments in Dubai?
Where is the transparency and accountability Dubai Ruler ordered?
Are the laws not applicable when it comes to Sheikh Maktoum Bin Hasher Al Maktoum ?”
“Al Fajer Properties, which is controlled by Sheikh Hasher Maktoum from a ruling family using the government agency platform, continues to mislead the public about their non-existing construction with false reports as evident in their recent press release claiming 15% construction where in reality it is a deserted site with no construction at all.”
Summing up the case, Oye raised grave concerns about the recent threats some of the investors have received and quoted attorney Salim Al Shaali who represents plaintiffs in a criminal case against the Ebony Ivory sales agency for misrepresentation.
In a recent interview, Al Shaali said,
“We have full trust in Dubai justice system. I personally guarantee all investors that Dubai government will never allow a few individuals to abuse their social or official positions for illicit profits and damage the reputation of the brand Dubai as a safe and most secure investment hub in the region.
We are waiting for a reply from the prosecution’s office
A member of the royal family (Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum) in the United Arab Emirates has for the first time been sued by an Iranian executive on charges of fraud.
Shahram Abdullah Zadeh has sued the brother-in-law ( Sheikh Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum) of the emir of Dubai ( Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum) in an unprecedented civil action in the UAE. The 37-year-old Iranian national has accused the brother-in-law, Hasher Maktoum Bin Juma’a Al Maktoum, of trying to take over Zadeh’s real estate firm.
“He thought he could do it all because he’s a sheik,” Zadeh said
The suit has challenged the transparency of the justice system of Dubai, which requires foreign investors to take on a UAE partner. Zadeh said he reverted to a civil action when prosecutors refused to file criminal charges against Hasher.
Zadeh, a life-long resident of Dubai, said he selected Hasher as the required UAE partner in Al Fajer Properties, established in 2004 and now worth $2 billion. Zadeh said he and Hasher fell into a dispute amid delays in building a billion-dollar office tower.
The economic downturn in the UAE has harmed a range of partnerships with foreign investors. In Dubai, the commercial capital, police have detained nearly 20 executives on suspicion of fraud. None of the detainees was connected to the ruling Al Maktoum family.
“There is no room for corruption and the corrupt,” Dubai ruler Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said. “In all corruption cases, people are not only prosecuted and punished, administrative and legal holes that they exploited to commit their crimes are plugged.No one in the emirates is above the law and accountability.”
Zadeh said Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum, who ignored two summonses, exploited his connections to the ruling family to have the Iranian arrested. In February 2008, Zadeh was imprisoned for 60 days and pressed to renounce links to Al Fajer.
As Zadeh languished in prison, Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum was said to have taken over Al Fajer and appointed his son chief executive officer. By the time, he was released, Zadeh found that his office safe was ransacked and cleansed of any documents that linked him to the company.
At one point, Zadeh appealed to Dubai’s emir. He said the emir did not respond to the complaint against his brother-in-law.
“We understand that Al Fajer Properties is controlled by a powerful member of Dubai’s ruling family,” Moses Oye, who represents investors in another Al Fajer project, said.
Still, Al Fajer continues to operate. On April 15, Al Fajer and the Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Agency, RERA Dubai, announced the first transfer of property using a new official online system.
Hasher’s son, Maktoum, was identified as president of Al Fajer. Zadeh was not mentioned.
Foreign investors have demanded an investigation of another Al Fajer project, Ebony Ivory.
The investors, alleging fraud, have called on the Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Agency to force Al Fajer to issue a refund.
“We have paid approximately $140 million and have a signed contract from Sheikk Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum,” Oye, who represents investors from Britain, Canada, India, Iran, Pakistan and the United States, said. “Now, we want our money back.”