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Kuwaiti financier found dead in Rawda

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1 Kuwaiti financier found dead in Rawda on Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:12 am


KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Hazem Khaled Al-Braikan, facing charges in the US for securities fraud, was found dead at his home in Rawda yesterday afternoon with a gunshot wound to the head. "His brother called triple seven and the fire department. They found the body inside his room with a Colt pistol," a security source told Kuwait Times. The Ministry of Interior announced yesterday that it was investigating Al-Braikan's death and would not comment until the investigation is completed, but security sources suggested
it was a suicide.

In his late 30s, Al-Braikan was the CEO of Al Raya Investment, owned 10 percent by Citigroup Inc. Late last week, the US Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges against Al-Braikan, Al-Raya and two other Kuwaiti companies, KIPCO Asset Management (KAMCO) and United Gulf Bank connected to the financier.

The SEC claims Al-Braikan engaged in fraudulent trades by using hoax news of takeover bids for two US firms. Al-Braikan and the firms bought shares in two US companies, Harman International, a Connecticut-based audio systems firm, and Textron Inc, a Fortune 500 aviation and industrial firm based in Rhode Island. Al-Braikan and the firms reportedly earned $5 million from the trades.
The SEC said Al-Braikan and the firms "amassed positions in the one or both of the securities of the companies shortly before the bogus offers were publicized." The shares were then sold at "prices inflated by the false information to reap their illicit profits.

KAMCO released a statement to the press on Friday denying the allegations. It noted that the suspect trades "were undertaken by KAMCO under specific instructions of its client in normal course of business. KAMCO had or has no proprietary investment or any interest in the related shares and thus has not benefited and has not gained from the reported trades. KAMCO has duly complied with the relevant customer account maintenance regulations.

On Saturday Al-Braikan issued a statement to the Kuwait press saying, "I would like to confirm my good legal standing. A lawyer's office in the US has been appointed to review the case... and to defend me. The example in matters lies in their conclusion.

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