Dubai authorities act on SMB

Dubai authorities have confirmed that SMB Computers’ operations have been closed down while the distributor’s activities are being investigated.

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By  Peter Branton Published  April 5, 2004

Dubai authorities have confirmed that SMB Computers’ operations have been closed down while the distributor’s activities are being investigated. As reported on itp.net last month, the company’s offices, showrooms and warehouses have been closed down and placed under police guard. The company was named in February by US President George Bush as a front for a smuggling ring dealing in nuclear technology. Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, the governor of the UAE central bank, was reported as saying last night that all accounts related to the company have been frozen while the investigation continues. “The investigating committee has made significant progress. The Dubai public prosecutor will soon announce the results of the probe,” he was quoted as saying in a local newspaper. He had previously said that the UAE authorities would only launch any investigation in to the company’s affairs if any proof of wrongdoing was to come to light. BSA Tahir, the man at the centre of the allegations about SMB, has also had his accounts frozen, and according to reports is currently in Malaysia, where his wife has influential links. Tahir was named by Bush as working with Abdul Qadeer Khan, known as the ‘father’ of Pakistan’s atomic programme. Khan has confessed to selling nuclear equipment on to countries such as Iran, Libya and North Korea. Computer vendors have moved to distance themselves from SMB since Bush’s accusations were made in February. Samsung immediately dropped it as a distribution partner, while other vendors contacted last month said they had suspended operations with it.

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