A receiver has been appointed by the High Court over shares in three Irish-registered aviation firms allegedly linked to a fugitive Russian businessman.
The orders were made in respect of shares held in trust for the benefit of Rashid M Mursekayev.
Mr Mursekayev, who has extensive interests in the aviation industry, is the subject of a criminal investigation, for alleged fraud arising out of financial difficulties at Vim Avia Airlines, which he co-owns.
The situation concerning Vim Airlines has drawn the ire of Russian president, Vladimir Putin, who publically criticised his own government’s transport minister and deputy prime minister over their handling of the matter.
Mr Mursekayev’s whereabouts are unknown.
At the High Court, lawyers representing US-registered firm, Volgadnepr-Unique Air Cargo, obtained temporary orders against Mr Mursekayev — aka Mursekaev — and firms, Fastway Leasing, Avion Leasing, and City Leasing. Proceedings have also been taken against Orpheus Shareholder Ltd, which is the legal owner of the shares in Fastway and City.
The interim orders that Mr Jim Luby, of McStay Luby, act as receiver over all the shares in Fastway, Avion, and City Leasing. The order also prohibits the shares being transferred or deposed in any way, pending further order of the court.
Seeking the orders, Andrew Fitzpatrick, SC, instructed by Whitney Moore solicitors, for Volgadnepr, said his client obtained a €4m judgment in the German courts against a German-registered firm, ACG Air Cargo, which became insolvent in 2013. The loan, which was not repaid, was guaranteed by Mr Mursekayev, counsel said.
The judgement was granted in 2016, but since then his client had been unable to serve Mr Mursekayev at his Moscow home.
The orders were being sought in the Irish courts against the three companies, in order to enforce the judgment obtained in Germany. The three companies have registered addresses in Dublin and Limerick, and the matter was urgent, as the plaintiff fears that there is a danger that any assets could be moved outside of the jurisdiction by Mr Mursekayev.
Counsel said that Mr Mursekayev is under investigation by the Russian authorities for alleged fraud. The orders were granted, on an ex-parte basis, by Mr Justice Paul Gilligan.
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