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Unauthorised transactions force Damas family CEO to resign

The family-controlled jewellery group, Damas International Limited, has announced that second-generation Tawhid Mohammed Taher Abdullah has resigned as its chief executive and managing director.
 
The statement said Damas would accept Abdullah's resignation "due to his disclosure to the board of what is understood to be unauthorised transactions conducted by him. The full extent of these transactions has not been ascertained at this time but the company's initial estimate is that these transactions could amount to approximately $165 million."
 
Abdullah and his two brothers Tawfique and Tamjid own more than 50% of the business, which their father set up in the 1950s. "The Abdullah brothers, being founding members and current owners of more than 50% of the shares of the company, fully stand behind the company, and have agreed to commit the necessary assets to secure and repay in full any unauthorised transactions," the statement read.
 
Damas raised $270 million in an initial public offering in July 2008 and in July this year said it was looking to form a partnership with India's Gitanjali Gems Limited to expand into the world's largest gold market.
 
Damas has its origin with the brothers' grandfather, who first began making jewellery in Syria in the 1900s. Their father moved the family business to Dubai in the 1950s and Tawhid, Tawfique and Tamjid became involved in the 1970s when the group began to expand from wholesale into retail stores and own brand jewellery.
 
Today the business operates in 18 countries and recorded revenues for the period January 2008-31 March 2009 of $1.6 billion. 

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