Barclays can enforce a $131 million judgment to recover unpaid bills from embattled NMC Health founder B.R. Shetty following the failure of a foreign exchange venture, a British judge has ruled, The National reported.
The UK-based international bank had sought to claw back its losses after the businessman’s Abu Dhabi-based UAE Exchange Centre (UAEEC) reneged on a currency-swap agreement in March 2020 with his empire on the brink of collapse.
Barclays gave UAEEC more than $129 million in less than a week, but never received the expected currencies in exchange as share trading in parent company Finablr was suspended on the London Stock Exchange amid a massive accounting scandal, the report said.
A court in Dubai ruled in favour of the bank in April last year, prompting Barclays to go to the High Court in London to enforce the ruling and tap the cricket lover’s frozen assets around the world, the report added.
They include his only known English asset, a $5.4 million penthouse close to the Lord’s cricket ground in north-west London. The flat is owned by Shetty through a British Virgin Islands company, Multi Skies Ltd, according to land registry documents.
The Indian-born businessman — who signed a guarantee in 2015 to pay off any debts to Barclays incurred by the UAE Exchange Centre — had tried to delay the ruling, claiming that the bank was responsible for misconduct and had connived with fraudsters to rip off his company.
Shetty — who claims to be ‘financially paralysed’ because of a series of freezing orders imposed by courts in the UK and India — said he would continue his legal battle, the report added.
The 79-year-old further claimed that he was ‘stranded in Mangalore’ after being turned back by Indian border officials when he tried to return to the UAE in November 2020, according to the judgment.
A spokeswoman for his legal team said: “Shetty shall be appealing against this judgment”.