Saturday, November 14, 2020

BR Shetty stopped at airport on way to UAE

Dubai: B R Shetty, founder and former chairman of the embattled firms NMC Health and Finablr who was making a surprise attempt to return to the UAE after eight months in India, was stopped by immigration officials at the Bengaluru airport on Saturday morning as he was about to board an Etihad flight.

Shetty and his business empire are embroiled in alleged financial irregularities and fraud involving billions of dollars.

His attempt to fly to Abu Dhabi by Etihad Flight EY217, for what he described as his eventual “return to the UAE as promised”, was halted just minutes after he spoke to Khaleej Times from the airport declaring his “complete faith in the justice system of the UAE”.

Shetty, who spoke to Khaleej Times even after he was stopped by the immigration officials, said his wife Dr Chandrakumari Shetty, who was to accompany him, was allowed to board the flight which was scheduled to depart at 2.45am on Saturday and arrive at 5.40am in Abu Dhabi.

It is learnt that a consortium of Indian banks, including Bank of Baroda with $250 million in outstanding loans due from Shetty, had initiated travel restrictions on the NMC founder in an attempt to recover the debts. Several other Indian banks, including Federal Bank, have considerable exposure to Shetty-run firms.

An Indian court has already restricted Shetty and his wife from selling or encumbering properties that Bank of Baroda claimed are personally guaranteed as security by the businessman.

The billionaire entrepreneur, who has been away from Abu Dhabi since February, said on Saturday evening that he was trying to get the travel curbs removed and is hopeful of returning to Abu Dhabi within days “to support the UAE authorities and all relevant bodies to correct any injustice done to the companies, their employees, shareholders and other stakeholders and help find solutions to outstanding matters”.

A few weeks ago, Shetty had sought an investigation by Indian federal agencies into a series of frauds allegedly committed by former top executives of his companies.

14/11/20 Issac John/Khaleej Times


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