May 8, 2019 / 1:31 PM / 12 days ago

Abraaj founder kept in custody in absence of £15 mln bail

LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) - Arif Naqvi, the founder of collapsed buyout firm Abraaj Group, was on Wednesday given another two days to raise a 15 million pound bail by a London court, a court official said.

Naqvi was arrested in Britain last month and has been awaiting potential extradition to the United States where he faces charges of defrauding investors.

On May 3, Westminster Magistrates Court granted Naqvi bail on condition that he pay 15 million pounds ($19.72 million) and an additional surety of 650,000 pounds, as well as surrendering his Pakistani passport, remaining under 24-hour curfew at an address given to the court and wearing an electronic tag, a prosecution spokesman said at the time.

Wednesday’s bail hearing was adjourned until May 10, the last date for which the bail money can be paid, the official said.

Naqvi declined to comment, according to an email from his public relations firm. He has previously maintained his innocence.

Under the U.S. charges, Naqvi is accused of inflating positions held by Abraaj in order to attract greater funds from them, causing them financial loss.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that Naqvi and his firm raised money for the Abraaj Growth Markets Health Fund, collecting more than $100 million (£77 million) over three years from U.S.-based charitable organisations and other U.S. investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

A former managing partner of Abraaj, Sev Vettivetpillai, was previously released on conditional bail to appear again at Westminster Magistrates Court on June 12, a court official previously told Reuters.

Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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