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Sayari Uncovers Corporate Network of Jordanian Tycoon Charged with Financial Crimes

03/04/20 6 minute read

Sayari analysts have identified the commercial network of a Jordanian businessman following his January arrest in Jordan for alleged financial crimes. The network — spanning four countries and including a major MENA region facilities management provider — has not been previously reported on.

Jordanian authorities arrested Khaldoun Rashid Said Al-Tabari for allegedly committing serious financial crimes in the UAE. The investigation into his network of companies not only reveals Tabari’s business activities across the MENA region, but also highlights potential risks presented by his and his family’s continued positions in key industries.

Khaldoun Tabari’s Arrest

Jordanian police arrested Khaldoun Rashid Said Al-Tabari in early January in connection with an Interpol Red Notice issued on the basis of criminal charges against him in the UAE. He was preparing to board a U.K.-bound flight out of Queen Alia Airport in Amman, Jordan, at the time of his arrest.

The arrest stems from complaints filed in the UAE in 2018 by Drake & Scull International (DSI), a Dubai-based construction company with operations across the Middle East, formerly headed by Tabari. The complaints accuse Tabari and his daughter of misappropriation, fraud, and embezzlement — among several other charges.

As a result of the criminal complaints filed against him, in June 2018 the UAE authorities froze his bank accounts and issued a travel ban — Tabari was out of the country at the time and has not returned since. The Jordanian authorities continue to refuse DSI’s requests for Tabari’s extradition to the UAE.

Tabari as a Tycoon

Prior to his recent legal trouble, Tabari was the chief executive of DSI, a Dubai-based construction company with operations across the Middle East. He led the company from 1998 until October 2016, overseeing DSI’s initial public offering in 2008 on the Dubai stock exchange — known locally as the Dubai Financial Market. In February 2017, Tabari sold his remaining shares and resigned from the board of directors.

Despite distancing himself from DSI, corporate records reveal that since at least the early 1990s, Tabari has established, managed, and invested in companies in the Middle East and globally. Through the economic pursuits of Tabari and his family, at least 36 companies (current and former) were founded, managed, or invested in across eight jurisdictions. Most of these companies exist in hard-to-access jurisdictions in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Tabari Network

Tabari and his children are linked to 10 active companies across Jordan, Lebanon, UAE, and the UK, according to official public records found in Sayari Graph. Analysis of these records revealed that each of these companies features either Tabari or members of his immediate family in positions of control — including as shareholders, directors, or managers.

The most significant finding came from the Jordanian Commercial Register, which lists Tabari as a 50 percent shareholder and the ultimate beneficial owner (UBO) of EMCOR Facilities Services Group Ltd Jordan.

Fig. 1: A snapshot from Graph showing Tabari as a shareholder of EMCOR Facilities Services Group Ltd Jordan (bottom right)

EMCOR Facilities Services Ltd Jordan is part of EFS Facilities Services, a major Dubai-based facilities management provider with a significant global footprint and the other 50 percent shareholder of EMCOR Jordan. The Dubai holding presides over a contract backlog worth more than AED 4.2 billion (~US $1.1 billion) and has operations in 21 countries, according to its website.

EFS has operated for over 19 years and was once a subsidiary of DSI, Tabari’s former company. EMCOR — the US-based global facilities management provider — was also a former shareholder. As of 2018, EFS’s portfolio included more than 300 governmental and international organizations.

Tabari’s role as the UBO of EMCOR Jordan, in conjunction with his network of lesser known companies, poses a risk for current or prospective business partners that might not have access to corporate records in opaque jurisdictions.

Beyond EMCOR, his companies continue to operate across the field of general contracting. In Jordan, Tabari is the UBO of Tathniya Contracting. Tabari is also involved in wealth management and investment, including First Group for Development and Investment in Jordan, and Vision Investments and Holdings in the UAE, which lists Tabari’s children as the shareholders and directors.

Reducing Risk with Sayari Graph

Large corporations rely on local vendors and subsidiaries every day to carry out operations abroad. In the Arab world, this often requires a local sponsor or partner whose name is listed on the license, as was the case with Tabari and Emcor Jordan.

The ability to access public data from opaque and hard target countries is crucial for quickly identifying non-obvious corporate beneficiaries to reduce risk in supply chains related to international operations. Using Sayari Graph to expose Tabari’s network is but one case highlighting the efficacy of Sayari’s data in achieving this goal.

Correction: This post previously stated that Tabari and his children were linked to 11 companies across five countries. At the time of publication, one of these companies — in Bahrain — was in the process of liquidation. Sayari has removed this company from its assessment of the network. The post has been updated to reflect this change.

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