A British court has ruled a former bank chairperson, who is on the run from authorities, should pay the bank $2.1 billion in compensation for damages in a fraud scheme.
On Friday, the British high court ruled that former BTA Bank chairman Mukhtar Ablyazov must pay the bank $2.1 billion in compensation.
BTA Bank filed a series of lawsuits against Ablyazov in the high court shortly after his arrival in London as a part of its restructuring agreement with creditors to recover $5 billion assets allegedly misappropriated by Ablyazov during his tenure at BTA Bank between 2005 and 2009.
The court ruling was the first to demand a monetary compensation from Ablyazov as the bank has already clinched a worldwide freezing order on his declared assets, currently worth around $6 billion.
BTA bank was the biggest lender in Kazakhstan before it defaulted on $12 billion of debt and was taken over by the government in 2009.
Kazakh prosecutors accused Ablyazov of money laundering and fraud in March 2009, issuing a warrant for his arrest. Following the warrant, Ablyazov fled to Britain where he was granted political asylum in 2011.
Ablyazov, 49, was sentenced by a high court in February to 22 months imprisonment for contempt after failing to disclose full details of his assets. He fled Britain shortly after the ruling.
The former banker and Kazakh government minister, whose current whereabouts are unknown, denies any wrongdoing and claims that legal action against him is politically motivated.
А ugitive former bank boss from Kazakhstan is set to be stripped of £150m assets as judge brands him 'cynical and devious'
A fugitive former bank boss is set to be stripped of assets worth more than £150million including an £18million mansion in one of London's most upmarket streets.
Mukhtar Ablyazov, who fled Britain earlier this year after he was sentenced to 22-months in jail for failing to disclose full details about his wealth, is accused of defrauding one of Kazakhstan's largest banks while he was chairman in 2009.
Sitting at London's Court of Appeal yesterday, senior judge Lord Justice Maurice Kay said Ablyazov had shown 'rare cynicism and deviousness' as he fought the claims against him.
Mr Ablyazov’s property portfolio in Britain is worth more than £63 million. His Bishops Avenue property — Carlton House — is worth £17 million and is in a street nicknamed Billionaires' Row.
The mansion has a 50ft ballroom and a Turkish bath, and is one of several he bought in a spree financed allegedly using fake loans, backdated documents and offshore accounts.
He also has a £1m apartment in Albert Court, closet to Lord's cricket ground; and Oaklands Park - a 100-acre estate on the edge of Windsor Great Park with tennis courts and helicopter pad.
Judges heard that Ablyazov, who is in his late 40s, had been a Kazakhstan government minister and chairman of a Kazakh bank.