Cyprus Court Prevents an Attempt Of Illegal Property Seizure in Ukraine's Agrarian Sector
Pubblicato il: 29/12/2016 16:43
OnJuly 18, 2016,the District Court of Limassol (Republic of Cyprus) rejected the claim of "The DNS Trust Settlement" trustee to appoint management in"Agrein Holding Limited" company, which was in the process of acquiring major assets in the agrarian sector of Ukraine.The court made a ruling afterfinding out that theclaim was based on false testimony and misleading accusations.
Thus, the Cyprus court prevented an attempt to establish control over the group of large agricultural companies in Ukraine that owns a total of 130 thousand hectares of land worth more than USD 100 million. The current management of Agrein has called the attempt a raiding attack.
Notably, this is not the first attempt to establish control over Ukrainian assets of "Agrein Holding Limited" company. The Court's decision stated that Lesya Sofiyenko, the plaintiff and the primary beneficiary in the lawsuit, used her family and personal connections in the government, being spouse of a Ukrainian MP, to launch a series of criminal investigations probing the bank loans received by the subsidiaries of the respondent company. After investigation, it was found that the criminal proceedings were unfounded and the case was closed.
While referring to the testimony of the parties in the case, the District Court of Limassol established that Mrs. Sofiyenko lied under oath. Mrs. Sofienko provided judges with false information. According to the court, Mrs. Sofiyenko failed to reveal her obligations to "Agrein Holding Limited" and about violation of such obligations.
It is not uncommon for Ukrainian enterprises to protect their property and avoid raiding attacks by registering holding companies in foreign jurisdictions like Cyprus. However, when the right to seize assets goes beyond the reach of Ukrainian courts the perpetrators try to exploit the judicial system of foreign countries by providing false information and fake evidence.
Ukraine is not immune to the practice when dishonest companies involve courts to seize assets of others. In fact, Ukraine occupied 115th place out of 128 countries according to the International Property Rights Index 2016, whereas last year it ranked 109th among 129 countries.
According to Anti-raider's Union of Entrepreneurs of Ukraine, there are more than 30 groups of raiders that operate in the country. In 2015, out of 3,000 raider's attacks 2,700 ended successfully for the perpetrators, reported the Union.