A receiver has been appointed over shares in three Irish-registered aviation firms linked to a man described in the High Court as a “fugitive” Russian businessman.
The temporary orders concern shares held in trust for the benefit of Rashid Mursekayev, said to have fled Russia with his current whereabouts unknown.
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 of Vim Avia Airlines, which he co-owns.
The situation concerning Vim Airlines has drawn the ire of Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has publicly criticised his government's transport minister and deputy prime minister over their handling of the matter, the court was told on Tuesday.
Lawyers representing US registered firm Volgadnepr-Unique Air Cargo obtained temporary orders against Mr Mursekayev aka Mursekaev and against three firms – Fastway Leasing DAC, Avion Leasing Ltd DAC and City Leasing.
The orders provide for the appointment of Jim Luby of McStay Luby as receiver over shares in the firms and restrain the shares being dealt with or disposed of, pending further order.
The proceedings are also against Orpheus Shareholder Ltd, legal owner of the shares in Fastway and City.
Seeking the orders, Andrew Fitzpatrick SC, instructed by Whitney Moore solicitors, for Volgadnepr, said his client obtained a €4 million 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 judgment was granted in 2016 and his side had been unable to serve Mr Mursekayev at his Moscow home. The orders were being sought in the Irish courts against the three companies to enforce the judgment, he said.
The three companies have registered addresses in Dublin and Limerick and the matter is urgent as the plaintiff fears there is a danger any assets could be moved outside the jurisdiction by Mr Mursekayev, who is under investigation by the Russian authorities for alleged fraud, counsel said.
The orders were granted, on an ex-parte basis (one side only represented), by Mr Justice Paul Gilligan, who returned the matter to next week.