Trust companies seek to be joined as co-plaintiffs in Dimitry Mazepin High Court case

Four Caribbean-registered companies already suing in alleged €2 billion conspiracy-to-defraud case

Nine trust companies behind four firms suing in an alleged €2 billion conspiracy-to-defraud case against Russian oligarch Dmitry Mazepin and his companies — including a Dublin registered firm — want to be joined as co-plaintiffs in the High Court action.

The court was told the new plaintiffs should be joined alongside four Caribbean-registered companies which originally brought the action because questions could be raised by Mazepin — a close associate of Vladimir Putin and on the European Union Russia sanctions list — and his co-defendants over legal title to pursue the case.

The case, which began in 2016, mainly involves foreign-registered and domiciled companies and individuals. However, it includes Dublin-registered Eurotoaz Ltd which Mr Mazepin allegedly controls..

The four Caribbean firms — Trafalgar Developments, Instantania Holdings, Kamara, and Bairiki Inc — originally sued Mr Mazepin, Eurotoaz, the United Chemical Company Uralchem (UCCU), a major ammonia producer allegedly controlled by Mr Mazepin, and a number of other companies and individuals based in Russia, Cyprus and Bulgaria.


It is claimed they were all part of a conspiracy to defraud the plaintiffs, through illegal and corrupt actions, of their 70 per cent interest in Russian firm Togliattiazot (ToAZ), a rival ammonia producing company to Mr Mazepin’s UCCU.

On Friday, the court heard an application from the original four plaintiff firms to join as co-plaintiffs nine other companies, six registered in the British Virgin Islands, one in Switzerland and two in Cyprus.

These nine companies, in 2009, transferred different holdings (adding up to nearly 70 per cent of ToAZ shares) to the four original plaintiff companies.

The plaintiffs say the transfers were done under a trust management agreement whereby the four Caribbean companies became trust managers of the shares.

The nine, as settlors of the trust, sought to be joined to the proceedings after the former chairman of ToAZ Sergi Maklai was declared bankrupt and this led to the alleged forced sale of the 70 per cent ToAZ shares to another company allegedly controlled by Mr Mazepin, the court heard.

Eoin McCullough SC, for the plaintiffs, said there was a “serious risk” to the justice of the case if the nine were not joined because the defendants could argue that as the four original plaintiffs were not the owners of the shares.

Marcus Dowling SC, for Eurotoaz, and Michael Collins SC, for the UCCU defendants, opposed the application. They argued, among other things, it is six years since the case began and it has always been brought on the basis that the current plaintiffs were the owners of the shares.

Mr Justice Denis McDonald reserved judgment.