Exclusive: Is Dr. B R Shetty a victim of a well-knit fraud?

By Special Correspondent

Delhi: Investigators in India are convinced that B R Shetty, one of the most successful businessmen of Indian origin, was deceived by some of his employees. Mr. Shetty, the founder of the UAE-based healthcare provider NMC Health, is currently facing charges of under-reporting debt and diversion of funds.

Not only that Shetty had denied the charges levelled against him but also approached India’s premier Investigation Agency to probe the allegations.

Off the record conversation with people familiar with the probe and background interviews with a few Indian officials familiar with the case, revealed that Investigators have found clues which establish innocence of B R Shetty. However, they declined to give more detail.

“It is premature to comment on the case. However, Investigators have found clues which support Mr. Shetty’s claim,” one of the investigator told this correspondent on condition of anonymity.

Earlier this year, Mr. B R Shetty, a self-made pharmacist, entrepreneur and Philanthropist who had won praise from across globe bringing good name to India, his home country, approached country’s premier Investigation agency to probe allegations of fraud leveled against him.

Indian government authorities and financial experts have appreciated Mr. B R Shetty for voluntarily submitting all the documents needed for any investigation agency to conclude probe.

As per detail, in October this month, BR Shetty filed a complaint with federal investigative agencies in India seeking a probe into two former top executives of his companies and two Indian banks related to a multibillion-dollar financial scandal engulfing his group.

Shetty’s representative in the case told this newspaper that his client was a victim of well-knit fraud.

“We are in the process of registering a case in Mangalore. We have met the investigation officers and have explained the entire case to them. Dr. Shetty is a victim of a well-knit fraud and we are determined to unearth this with the help of the investigating agencies,” Zulfiquar Memon, Founder and Managing Partner of MZM Legal, representing Dr. Shetty told this newspaper.

It is worth mentioned that several companies linked to Shetty, including top United Arab Emirates hospital operator NMC Health PLC and payments firm Finablr PLC, have come under severe financial strain this year after short-seller Muddy Waters questioned NMC’s financials.

Shetty’s 153-page complaint with Annexture, a copy of which was seen by Islamabad Telegraph , accuses the former chief executives of NMC and Finablr, along with their associates and bankers, of inflating the companies’ balance sheets, arranging “illegal” credit facilities and misappropriating funds since 2012.
It calls on India’s federal police, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) – India’s financial crime fighting agency – to investigate.

Many in India believe, real test of ‘Central Bureau of Investigation’, India’s premier Investigating agency has just begun in Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty’s case.

Popularly known as Dr. B.R. Shetty, the self-made Indian pharmacist, entrepreneur and philanthropist has been earning good name for India for over 46 years. He had committed his career to building healthcare facilities and improving the quality of life for people in the UAE and across the world. His companies span the Healthcare, Pharmaceutical, Financial Services, Education, Hospitality, Agribusiness & Environmental Sectors.

B R Shetty is a success story. People in India, Middle East and elsewhere in the world, often quote him as how did he arrive in Abu Dhabi in 1973 from Kapu, Karnataka with just a few dirhams and became a pioneer in the UAE’s private healthcare sector.

In 1975 he founded a small pharmaceutical clinic, New Medical Centre (NMC), motivated by the vision of the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (peace be upon his soul), to provide quality healthcare at affordable rates for the people of Abu Dhabi.

In the decades that followed, Dr. Shetty never lost sight of these fundamental principles. From its humble beginnings, today NMC is the largest healthcare provider in the region with over 200 facilities across 19 countries, and over 20,000 employees treating 8.5 million patients a year.

In 2012, NMC became the first healthcare company from the Middle East to list on the London Stock Exchange, capping an historic journey for the man from Karnataka who arrived in Abu Dhabi some 46 years earlier with little more than the clothes on his back and a desire to make a difference.

While healthcare remains Dr. Shetty’s first passion, it is by no means his only one. Five years after establishing NMC, he developed UAE Exchange to provide much-needed fund transfer services to the UAE’s growing expatriate population.

UAE Exchange grew into a market leader in the UAE and evolved into a diverse organization with a global reach and world class products and services.

Other money transfer and foreign exchange services were founded (Xpress Money, Remit2India, Unimoni) or acquired (Travelex, Ditto, Swych) and brought together with UAE Exchange under a UK-registered holding company, Finablr, in 2018. Finablr was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2019.

People familiar with Dr. Shetty say, he has always dreamed big and pursued opportunities where he believes his expertise can improve the lives of customers, wherever they are in the world. BRS Ventures’ portfolio of companies, the conglomerate under which Dr. Shetty’s investments are now held, is in many ways a reflection of Dr. Shetty’s multi-decade commitment to positive change built on the values of trust, integrity and perseverance.

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