File picture from a time when UAE Exchange House was taking in remittances. Now, its operations have been placed on hold and is under investigation by UAE Central Bank. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: The parent company of UAE Exchange Centre had “hidden” debts of around $1.3 billion, according to the latest revelations of financial mismanagement and more at the entity.

These findings could bring forward the filing of charges against former officials, in the same way that it was done at NMC Health, the Abu Dhabi headquartered hospital operator. Both NMC and Finablr were founded by Dr. B.R. Shetty, the Indian billionaire.

In recent weeks, there have been several exits of senior management at Finablr/UAE Exchange House, including that of the ex-CEO. There had been changes at the Board of Directors level as well. 

“Total net indebtedness of the Finablr Group may be approximately $1,300 million (excluding any liabilities of the Travelex business),” said a statement issued by Finablr.

“This is materially above the last reported figure for the Group's indebtedness position as at 30 June 2019 and the levels of indebtedness previously disclosed to the Board.

“The Board cannot exclude the possibility that some of the proceeds of these borrowings may have been used for purposes outside of the Finablr Group.”

Investigations go on

Recently, internal investigations at the company found that Finablr/UAE Exchange House had written out cheques of up to $100 million for purposes that are yet to be verified.

The latest statement does not reveal the banks that had offered the $1.1 billion.

The latest statement does not reveal the banks that had offered the $1.1 billion.

“The same tactics were used by UAE Exchange and Finablr to pull in billions of dollars that were never disclosed on the books,” said a banking industry source. “You can expect a speeding up of investigations towards prosecution on the Finablr matter.”