Thursday, November 28, 2013

UK Court Orders Fugitive Kazakh Tycoon to Pay Out $400 mln to Kazakh Bank

London’s High Court ordered fugitive ex-banker Mukhtar Ablyazov to pay damages Tuesday amounting to approximately $400 million. Ablyazov formerly served as the chairman of BTA Bank, which is described in Tuesday’s judgment as a major Kazakh bank that effectively nationalized in February 2009. The bank has filed 11 separate sets of proceedings in England and Wales seeking to recover upwards of $5 billion – money that the bank claims was fraudulently misappropriated by Ablyazov when he was at the helm. Specifically, the bank alleges that acting in concert with various other members of the bank’s former leadership, Ablyazov misappropriated funds for his own benefit by use of a network of offshore companies. He was granted political asylum in Britain in 2011. However, according to the judgment – he has “remained a fugitive from justice since February 2012.” His whereabouts remained unknown until he was detained on July 31 near Cannes, France. Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine are all seeking his extradition.

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