Doha has taken legal action against the UAE’s First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), Saudi Arabia’s Samba Bank and Luxembourg-based Banque Havilland.

Qatar has filed lawsuits against three major banks after discovering plots to undermine its currency and bonds. According to Al Jazeera, Doha has taken legal action against banks from Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg and the UAE at their offices based in London and New York.

Legal documents show that the cases name the UAE’s First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), Saudi Arabia’s Samba Bank and Luxembourg-based Banque Havilland.

A statement from Qatar’s government communications office said Banque Havilland tried to weaken its currency, the riyal, by submitting what the statement called “fraudulent quotes to foreign-exchange platforms in New York allegedly intended to disrupt indices and markets where significant Qatari assets and investors are located.”

The Qatari government’s statement did not go into details about the accusations against FAB and Samba Bank, saying only that they were “engaged in financial market manipulation”.

Banque Havilland has denied Qatar’s accusations, saying it had launched “an independent forensic investigation on the matter led by external legal counsel”. The investigation has established that the Bank did not engage in any transaction contemplated in the related articles published at the time,” the statement said.

FAB and Samba Bank are yet to comment on the accusations, but experts fear it is another attempt to undermine Qatar in the long running GCC dispute.

Qatar has been under siege by its neighbours – Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE – since June 2017. The quartet accuse the Arab state of supporting terrorism and forging close ties with Iran. Doha consistently denies the accusations.
Despite the siege being in full swing for almost two years now, Qatar has triumphed over adversity, built a successful self sufficient economy and forged close ties with international heavyweights worldwide.


Omar Hajjar is a journalist based in the UK. An investigative reporter, he has lived in 3 different countries in the Middle East over the past 10 years.

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