Dubai school owner flees UAE with fees’ money

September 6, 2012
Empty classroom

The owner of a school for kids with special needs has fled the UAE after clearing out its bank accounts with two cashed cheques worth AED 210,000 ($57,100), UAE daily newspaper, The National, reported.

Parents of students were shocked when they were informed that Australian Christopher Reynolds, managing director of St. Andrews School in Al Safa had shut down the facility and left the country.

Reynolds left a sum of AED 890,000 ($242,301) in debts behind him, the report added.

The school has 53 pupils, who pay AED 80,000 ($21,779) each for annual fees. Many of them have already paid the first semester’s expenses in full, which is around AED 20,000 ($5,444).

The school’s staff of 30 teachers is also owed salaries amounting to AED 187,000 ($51,000), the report said.

“There is no money in the school not even to buy whiteboard markers,” school head teacher Barbara Blake told The National.“

"He has literally taken everything.”

In an email sent to The National, Reynolds refuted claims that he fled teh country, saying that he had to go back to Australia for a family emergency.

“I have had to return to Australia to continue a legal battle over teh custody of my son,” The National quoted Reynolds as writing.

“I withdrew AED 200,000 of my invested funds in August to pay government and legal fees to allow me to return to Australia.”