Report: Aquis Group Cutting Ties With Phoenix After Failure ‘To Be Honest And Transparent’

Following last week’s announcement that New South Wales and Racing Victoria have frozen the prize money of horses owned by Amer Abdulaziz’ Phoenix Thoroughbreds over allegations of money laundering, the Aquis Group has decided to cut ties, reports the Australian Financial Review. A group operated by Hong Kong billionaire Tony Fung, Aquis owns multiple horses in tandem with Phoenix, including G1 Golden Slipper winner Farnan, as well as 19 horses purchased at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in January.

Aquis’ decision is predicated by the fact that Phoenix did not disclose the actions of racing authorities to freeze prize money.

“That conduct of Phoenix has failed to meet our expectations,” a spokesman for Aquis told the AFR. “Any true co-owner should inform their partner of such action by authorities. Phoenix failed to be honest and transparent with us over the prize money freeze, which has rendered the relationship untenable.”

Phoenix reportedly is not permitted to race in France, United Arab Emirates or the United Kingdom. No state racing commissions in the United States have taken regulatory action against Phoenix.

Phoenix continues to be active at U.S. bloodstock sales, including the $1.2 million bid by Phoenix agent Gerard Butler to buy out a partner in stakes winner Lady Apple last November at Fasig-Tipton. Shannon Arvin, president and CEO of Keeneland, released the following statement concerning Phoenix being allowed to participate in sales after court documents filed by a federal prosecutor in a money laundering case involving the multi-billion-dollar OneCoin cryptocurrency scam, accused Abdulaziz of being a money launderer for OneCoin.

“Keeneland is aware of the allegations that may involve Phoenix Thoroughbreds and is monitoring the situation,” said Arvin. “However, it is our understanding that Phoenix Thoroughbred has not been indicted by a grand jury, let alone convicted on any allegations. Keeneland will continue to follow any developments in this matter, and certainly will comply with any regulatory or legal action or direction from a governing authority.”

Since the money laundering accusations were made in federal court against Abdulaziz, it is believed that he has not traveled to the United States from Dubai, where he resides.

The post Report: Aquis Group Cutting Ties With Phoenix After Failure ‘To Be Honest And Transparent’ appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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