South Korea police raid BMW office over car fires

There have been dozens of engines fires in BMWs in South Korea. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)
Updated 30 August 2018
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South Korea police raid BMW office over car fires

  • South Korean police are investigating whether the company covered up vehicle defects
  • BMW Korea last month started recalling 106,000 vehicles with an exhaust gas recirculation module

SEOUL: South Korean police raided German carmaker BMW’s Seoul headquarters Thursday in connection with dozens of engine fires.
An official at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s white collar crime unit said officers were investigating whether the company covered up vehicle defects and had confiscated documents and other materials.
He declined to give further details but Yonhap news agency said a team of 30 investigators were involved. There was no immediate comment from BMW Korea.
“We will conduct a thorough investigation to reveal the truth,” Yonhap quoted a police official as saying.
The move came after reports more than 40 BMW vehicles have burst into flames so far this year, with some parking lots refusing to accept the cars because of fears they could catch fire.
South Korea this month temporarily banned from the streets BMW cars that had not yet passed safety checks and dozens of BMW owners filed complaints seeking a criminal investigation into the firm, its local unit and their nine top officials.
BMW Korea last month started recalling 106,000 vehicles with an exhaust gas recirculation module, which it says caused the recent fires. The recall applies to 42 models, all with diesel engines.
The company is facing a series of legal actions over the issue in the country, and has said the problem was “not Korea specific.”
In South Korea, six out of 10 imported cars are from Germany, with BMW selling nearly 39,000 in the first six months of this year, according to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association.


Abraaj founder’s extradition hearing adjourned

Updated 18 April 2019
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Abraaj founder’s extradition hearing adjourned

  • The US alleges that Arif Naqvi and his firm raised money for the Abraaj Growth Markets Health Fund, collecting more than $100 million over three years from US-based charities and investors
  • According to the SEC’s complaint, Naqvi misappropriated money from the health fund and commingled the assets with corporate funds of Abraaj Investment Management

LONDON: A case in a London court to extradite Arif Naqvi, the founder of collapsed private equity firm Abraaj, to the US on fraud charges was adjourned until April 26, a court official said on Thursday.
The official said that a former managing partner of Dubai-based Abraaj, Sev Vettivetpillai, had also been arrested and was facing a US extradition request linked to the same charges.
While at Abraaj, Vettivetpillai was head of impact investing in a role that oversaw the firm’s troubled health care fund. Abraaj’s executives are facing US charges that they defrauded investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that Naqvi and his firm raised money for the Abraaj Growth Markets Health Fund, collecting more than $100 million over three years from US-based charities and other US investors.
According to the SEC’s complaint, Naqvi misappropriated money from the health fund and commingled the assets with corporate funds of Abraaj Investment Management and its parent company, and used it for purposes unrelated to the health fund.
Naqvi pleaded innocent last week in a statement released through a PR firm.
He was arrested in the UK earlier this month, while managing partner Mustafa Abdel-Wadood was arrested at a New York hotel, Assistant US Attorney Andrea Griswold told a Manhattan federal court on April 11.