Nakheel in corruption probe

The Dubai-based developer, a subsidiary of state-owned Dubai World, is at the center of a bribery investigation involving one current and one former employee.

Dubai-based property developer Nakheel is at the center of a corruption probe.

Two men are being detained and questioned on suspicion of “mistrust and bribery,” the Dubai public prosecution office revealed Thursday. In a statement, Nakheel confirmed the investigation related to “acceptance of inducements from third parties.”

Dubai government officials told Zawya Dow Jones yesterday that Egyptian national Karim Masaad, who resigned as a sales executive a month ago, and current general manager for sales, Walid al-Jaziri, were being questioned.

The probe is part of a wider crackdown by the Dubai government that has been going on since April after a series of corporate scandals, which has rocked business confidence in the emirate. Earlier this month Adel al-Shirawi, the former chief executive of Islamic-mortgage lender Tamweel and deputy chairman of Istithmar World, was arrested on suspicion of embezzlement. At the same time, the former chief executive of Deyaar Development Co, Zack Shahin, has been held without charge by Dubai Police on suspicion of embezzlement. JP Morgan’s Islamic banking unit has also seen its head detained in relation to an investigation at Dubai Islamic Bank.

The investigation of Nakheel is particularly noteworthy as the company at the heart of government efforts to build a thriving real estate industry in the emirate. The company is a subsidiary of state-owned Dubai World, and it has been the developer for some of the emirate’s most high-profile projects, including the 495 million sq ft Palm Islands which is being co-promoted by Donald Trump. Trump is investing in the tallest structure on the islands, the 62-storey Trump International Hotel & Tower.

Nakheel is reportedly working with Indian developer The DLF Group to invest $10 billion in two 20,000-acre township projects in Gurgaon and the South Maharashtra/Goa region in India