23 March 2018
Muktar Ablyazov has been debarred from defending the $6billion claims brought against him by JSC BTA Bank, with the Bank now able to obtain judgment against him and enforce against his assets.
Mr Ablyazov was accused of misappropriating almost $6bn during his tenure as the chairman of BTA Bank in Kazakhstan between 2005 and 2009 by arranging non-commercial loans to offshore companies of which he was the beneficiary. The bank was effectively nationalised in 2009 amid great controversy, and Mr Ablyazov forced out. He obtained political asylum in the UK in 2011.
The Bank had obtained freezing injunctions and disclosure orders against Mr Ablyazov and a number of associates, as well as an order appointing KPMG as the receiver of a vast network of offshore companies. There have been a number of preliminary hearings and increasingly desperate appeals against the disclosure orders have been mounted by the Defendants, a number of whom, including Mr Ablyazov (who remains in hiding), have now received prison sentences for contempt of court.
The Withers Civil Fraud Group is currently advising on a number of multi-million and multi-billion dollar disputes involving major CIS banks. These cases highlight many of the issues at the heart of the Ablyazov dispute, and require careful thinking to untangle the strands of political motivation, genuine business agreement and fraud which are often closely intertwined.
For further information, please contact Stephen Ross, Head of Civil Fraud, on +44 207 597 6172 or firstname.lastname@example.org.