Several Abu Dhabi-based banks orchestrated attacks on Doha’s economy during the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) crisis in 2017 in hopes of damaging its ability to host the 2022 World Cup.
Qatar has settled a lawsuit it filed against Emirates NBD Bank PJSC and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC in November 2020, following allegations that the two entities attempted to devalue its local currency during the GCC crisis of 2017.
During the regional rift, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed an illegal air, land and sea blockade on Qatar following unfounded accusations that Doha was supporting terrorism – allegations with denials. vehemence.
According to a Law360 report published on Monday, the case was resolved on January 6, 2022, after Judge David Foxton signed the agreement at the High Court in London.
Timeline: How the GCC crisis erupted over three years
In the first lawsuit, Qatar demanded more than £100 million (at least $130 million) from Emirati banks after accusing them of “unjustly enriching themselves” by manipulating Qatari riyal indices to New York.
Additionally, Qatar claimed that Emirates NBD Bank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank had caused harm to Doha and its citizens by “illegally” interfering in its economic interests even before July 2017.
The legal news site added that actions taken by Emirati banks to harm the Qatari economy included “sham listings” and “cross trades”.
Doha News contacted Qatari authorities and the Abu Dhabi Government Media Office for comment, but received no response from either.
The lawsuit against the two UAE-based financial entities was separate from the previous lawsuit Qatar brought against banks in New York and London in 2019 for launching a “financial war campaign” over Doha.
The London lawsuit was brought against the Luxembourg bank Havilland and its former employee Vladimir Bolelyy, for having orchestrated an attack on the Qatari riyal.
It cost Qatar $40 billion as it pumped money into its economy to prop up its currency and resulted in the liquidation of nearly $3 billion in US Treasury bonds and notes held in New York.
While the New York lawsuit was filed against First Abu Dhabi Bank and Saudi Arabia’s Samba Bank, on similar charges.
A statement from the then-Qatar Government Communications Office (GCO) said the Gulf state had taken legal action based on a market manipulation investigation it announced in December 2017. .
“Although the manipulation of the financial market has failed in its efforts to undermine confidence in the Qatari riyal and Qatar, it has nevertheless caused economic losses and Qatar is obliged to take the necessary measures to hold accountable the financial institutions that engaged in illegal market manipulation,” the statement added.
Qatar accuses British financier of ‘brazenly’ concealing evidence in Banque Havilland case
For its part, Banque Havilland defended itself by denying “any allegation of wrongdoing or improper conduct made by the State of Qatar”.
Additionally, a report published by Bloomberg in 2020 found direct links between Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, commonly known as MBZ, and Banque Havilland.
The news agency discovered that the bank had created a presentation in 2017 which planned the manipulation strategy and had been sent to MBZ by former MI6 agent Will Tricks.
The Qatari riyal hit a record high at the time and did not recover until November of the same year, as reported by Bloomberg.
Post-Al Ula GCC
Several other legal proceedings have been pursued by Qatar throughout the GCC crisis in a number of legal forums, including the International Court of Justice, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Trade Organization. (WTO).
A number of these lawsuits have been dropped since the signing of the Al Ula declaration on January 5 last year, which saw the restoration of diplomatic relations between the blocking quartet and Qatar.
Less than a month after the start of the agreement, Qatar sent a notice to the WTO to suspend the action it had brought against the United Arab Emirates at the start of the crisis, over measures related to the “trade in goods and services and commercial aspects of intellectual property”. rights.”
More recently, Qatar and Saudi Arabia agreed to suspend their dispute over the findings of a WTO report into Riyadh’s 2017 theft of copyrights from Doha’s beIN Sports.
The WTO found the Saudi government guilty of engaging “in the promotion of public gatherings with screenings of unauthorized beoutQ broadcasts”, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
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