A Kazakh paper and cardboard manufacturer has won a London court order against its former chairman to return £122m, including four luxury London properties worth £50m, in damages following fraud.
Yesterday a judgement was reached in the long standing case, between Kazakhstan Kagazy Group and its former chairman Maksat Arip. The Group has been trying to enforce an order for Arip to pay damages of $300m in total.
Arip was ordered by an English High Court to hand over £72m held in a Swiss bank account and cash from the sales of four central properties in London with a combined worth of £50m.
The luxury properties include a £26.5m apartment in Belgravia, four Mayfair apartments worth £20m, a townhouse in Kensington valued at £13m and a commercial development site in East London worth £11m.
Justice Henshaw ruled that the assets belonged to the Kazakhstan Kagazy group as they were bought with fraudulent funds by Arip, but were kept in trusts or owned by Arip’s family.
Harbour litigation attorneys will sell the premium property portfolio and receive the £72m as payment for the outstanding judgement debt which it has funded since 2015. Harbour will continue enforcement action against Arip for the rest of the debt accrued.
“The is a hugely important decision for [Kazakhstan Kagazy] and a notable one for fraud claimants in England more generally,” said Richard Lewis, partner at Hogan Lovells, which acted as the paper conglomerate group’s solicitors.
“The English court has shown that it will not permit fraudsters to shield themselves from enforcement by parking their assets in supposed trust structures or with family,” he added.