Source:ArabianBusiness.com 25 February 2010
The owners of The World’s Great Britain island are currently in prison awaiting trial for allegedly bouncing a check for more than AED200 million ($54.4 million), it was reported on Thursday.
Safi Qurashi and his business partner Mustafa Nagri, who bought Great Britain for $60m in May 2008, have been in custody in Port Rashid prison for the past six weeks, according to Zawya Dow Jones.
Their detention throws into doubt the future of the island, as construction work is reported to have ground to a halt.
"We have done nothing wrong," Qurashi told the newswire service via a prison telephone from his cell. "We're not criminals, we are victims of the system."
Qurashi confirmed Nagri was also being held in Port Rashid for the same offence.
According to the report, the alleged bounced cheque relates to a land sale. It is illegal to bounce a cheque in the UAE.
In September, Qurashi told Arabian Business he had made changes to his initial plans to build a mix of residential, hotels and commercial projects, all reflecting British architecture, due to the impact of the downturn.
His plans to develop The World’s Moscow, which he bought for $58m in March 2008, remain on hold.
German construction firm, Kleindienst Group, announced on Wednesday it had broken ground on Germany island.
The developer of The Heart of Europe project officially began work on Germany Island with specialist engineering contractor Foundation Construction Group Limited (FCG) late on Tuesday, it said in a statement.