Ex-official at Pacific Controls detained in Dubai

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Aden - Yasmin Abdel Azim - The Pacific Control Systems' head office in Jebel Ali. Debts and missing funds nearly brought the company to a standstill. Image Credit: Al Khaleej Today Archive

Dubai: A former top official at Pacific Controls – accused of complicity in Dh370 million of missing company funds - has been detained by Dubai authorities. It is believed that the individual had flown into the country to dispose of some properties he had in the city, which was when the authorities picked him up.

Threre is a travel ban against the official, company sources added. 

“It is unimaginable how such vast quantum of wealth has been accumulated by Mr. Srinivasan Narasimhan,” said a Pacific Controls spokesperson. “A criminal case has been filed with Dubai Police and Mr. Narasimhan is answerable to the fraudulent activities conducted by him in Pacific Controls.”

The Jebel Ali headquartered company had been one of the pioneers in sustainability solutions, but in 2016 stumbled badly after it found itself in a position where it was saddled with heavy bank exposures.

The company was founded by Dilip Rahulan, who too has not been in the country for some time. There is also a case pending against Rahulan. 

It was also the time when an audit found that the company had a Dh370 million hole, which it could not account for and set in motion a events that nearly brought the business down.

The detention of Narasimhan is a "turning point in the journey towards recovery of PCS," the spokesperson added. "The management has been relentlessly working to restructure, pay back debs and bring the company back to its former glory.

"The company’s technology, innovations and contributions through its data center infrastructure and cloud computing services are still being offered to both government and private sectors.”

Charges against official

According to information available, the current Pacific Controls management had lodged a complaint with Dubai Police that the finance manager (Narasimhan) and his team fraudulently created and operated bank accounts in the company’s name, creation of loans, personal guarantees, cheques and bank transfers using fake signatures of Rahulan without his knowledge and consent.

“Srinivasan converted the company’s banking facilities into cash, creating and operating fake bank accounts in the company’s name, and transferring hundreds of millions of dirhams,” a source said.

“Due diligence and asset tracking conducted by independent agencies have indicated that Srinivasan and his family are owners and directors of several companies in India, owning properties registered in third-party names in Ketty Valley, Chennai and Hyderabad. These entities took shape and got active post-2016.”

A difficult turnaround

Once it got caught out by the missing funds and heavy debts, Pacific Controls tried a restructuring exercise in 2016 under the guidance of KPMG and Kochaar and Company Inc. “However, this did not progress due to lack of funding needed for a high-profile restructuring process,” a source close to the company said.

But now, the company has found itself in a position of relative stability. It is not known whether the current management issued fresh equity, or whether the bank exposures were refinanced.

"We have been in discussions with the banks - the management is committed to reach a settlement agreement with all the banks and creditors at the earliest," a spokesperson added.

Clients included Dubai Civil Defense, Roads Transport Authority, Dubai Airport, Etisalat, Mobily and King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia.

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The command and control centre at Pacific Controls. The company offers sustainability savings for buildings and other such assets. Image Credit: Al Khaleej Today Archive

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