Hervé Jaubert

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Hervé Jaubert (born 1956) is a former French Navy officer and marine engineer, who operated as a secret agent for the DGSE until 1993,[citation needed] when he moved to Wellington, Florida where he set up a company to build and operate recreational submarines.

In the Persian Gulf area[edit]

In 2004 Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem visited his factory in Florida and invited him to move his firm to the Persian Gulf. Jaubert accepted the invitation and bin Sulayem put him in charge of a new subsidiary of Dubai World. There Jaubert set up a submarine manufacturing company with a factory, which after two years started making tourist submarines and superfast boats: it made 4 mini-submarines, a submersible yacht, and a larger submarine called Nautilus which could carry 9 people. His firm ran into difficulties: accounts differ as to what happened.

Dubai authorities' statement[edit]

After Jaubert escaped, Dubai World and Dubai's police accused him of embezzlement and said that at least two of his submarines did not work.

An Arabian Business[1] article says that Jaubert embezzled 14 million dirhams ($3,000,000) (including 1,400,000 dirhams in kickbacks) from his employer Exomos Submarines; this was said to explain his lifestyle[1] when he was chief executive officer of a money-losing startup. Jaubert denied all charges in the press and declared that his promise to pay Dubai World, the parent company of Exomos, was under duress and only to buy him time preparing his escape. He went undercover and escaped the country in May 2008.

Jaubert's statement[edit]

Jaubert said that the Dubai system was corrupt. He denied all charges and said he was having supply problems hiring qualified employees and purchasing parts for his submarines. Dubai's financial system was said to be in difficulties. He said that, although he was invited to Dubai to make submarines, when he was in Dubai, Dubai World chairman Sultan bin Sulayem told him to work on other projects.[2]

Escape[edit]

According to Jaubert's account: A year after his first police questioning he got to Fujairah, where a set of frogman's kit was smuggled to him in parts. One night in May 2008 he put this frogman's kit on, and an Arab woman's abaya cloak (like a burqa) over it as a disguise. A newspaper photograph of an after-the-event re-posing ([2]) shows him with a bag-on-chest rebreather with cylinder below bag, absorbent canister inside bag, no hard casing, and loop of two breathing tubes with mouthpiece (it appears to be an OMG Castoro C-96 Pro Italian-made oxygen rebreather (described here)), in its protective counterlung cover, and a handheld underwater navigation device about 30 cm square, and false breasts to fill out the ledge caused by the flat top of the breathing bag and make the overlying abaya drape more realistically like on a fat woman. He slipped from his hotel to the beach at night disguised under the abaya [3] and swam to the area's only police patrol boat, which was in a coastguard station, and climbed on the boat and clogged its fuel lines to prevent pursuit. Next morning during the Fajr Muslim prayers when people would not be watching he made his escape on a rubber dinghy with a small outboard motor, and sailed and waited in international waters for 6 hours to a prearranged meeting with a former fellow spy in a sailing boat, just outside United Arab Emirates territorial waters. The sailing boat carried him in eight days to Mumbai in India, and from there in 2008 he went home to Florida.

Books[edit]

Herve Jaubert published 3 books:

  • 1995: a book called "Il n' a plus de secrets dans les services" (ODILON MEDIA)
  • 2009: a book called "Escape from Dubai" (ISBN 978-0929915944), about his Dubai experience.
  • 2011: a novel called "The Boston Fracture" (ISBN 978-1466405615), a politico-techno-action thriller.

Trial in absentia in Dubai[edit]

On 28 June 2009 a court in Dubai tried Jaubert in absentia and found him guilty and sentenced him to 5 years imprisonment. George Dalton, Dubai World's chief counsel, had stated in an interview in September, 2009, that he was confident that a US Court would return a similar verdict against Mr. Jaubert.

Counter-suit[edit]

On 9 September 2009 Jaubert filed a lawsuit in Martin County Court in Florida against Dubai World, for defamation (based on a Dubai World statement in the Washington Post "Jaubert and his submarine venture ran into trouble for other reasons: his submarines didn't work, and auditors uncovered evidence of fraud involving overbilling for equipment purchases".), fraud, abuse of process by the Dubai police, and false imprisonment.[3][4]

Statement by Dubai authorities[edit]

On 15 September 2009 Dubai World posted this statement on their website at http://www.dubaiworld.ae/en/Media%20Center/News/news_detail_DW-Statement.html :-

"Dubai World has filed a suit against former employee Herve Jaubert in the United States federal court, Southern Florida. The company is accusing him of fraud, theft and related charges linked to his time as CEO of Dubai World subsidiary Exomos, established in 2004 to design and make submarines. The suit is in Florida because Mr. Jaubert chose to flee there from the UAE instead of signing an agreement he had made with Dubai World to repay money he stole from the company. Dubai World is fully confident that the US court will come to the same conclusion as a Dubai court did in April 2009: that Mr. Jaubert misrepresented his ability to design and build submarines to obtain his position as CEO of Exomos, and then used that position to steal millions of dollars from Dubai World."

Acquitted in re-trial in Florida[edit]

On 28 February 2011 at Fort Pierce, Florida The Court found against Dubai World's claims of breach of contract, fraudulent representation regarding his abilities as an expert submarine designer, negligent representation regarding same, breach of fiduciary duty, and conversion, and rejected all 5 Dubai claims. [2] [5]

The court found against Jaubert's claim of abuse of process. Jaubert was not awarded any money damages or other relief.[6]

The jury found that Mr. Jaubert's abuse of process claim against Dubai World was not supported by the evidence provided. Earlier the judge had dismissed Herve Jaubert's claims for fraud, defamation, and false imprisonment; it is stated that this claim failed because the judge did not let the jury hear testimony from two witnesses (a former employee of Exomos, and the wife of a former employee of a related Dubai World investment company) who both suffered similar abuses of process at the hands of the plaintiffs. Federal Court Judge Jose E. Martinez dismissed Jaubert’s fraud and defamation claims.[7]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

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