Russian tycoon loses Dh20.7m helicopter over divorce settlement in Dubai

Russian tycoon loses Dh20.7m helicopter over divorce settlement in Dubai

Dubai - His Dh1.67 billion superyacht is currently being held under an international arrest warrant in Port Rashid.



by

Marie Nammour

Published: Sat 15 Dec 2018, 5:32 PM

Last updated: Thu 20 Dec 2018, 10:18 AM

A Russian tycoon, whose superyacht costing about Dh1.67 billion is arrested in Dubai over a divorce settlement case, lost his Dh20.7-million chopper as part of the settlement, Khaleej Times has learnt.
The helicopter, which used to be engaged in regular shift work travelling to and from the superyacht M.V. Luna by Russian tycoon Farkhad Akhmedov was sold in the Isle of Man on Thursday, lawyers acting for the ex-wife of Akhmedov confirmed to Khaleej Times.
The lawyers revealed that the Eurocopter EC 155 helicopter (registered as M-LVNA Fairoaks) had been earlier seized in Turkey. It has been learned that the sale, which was a private deal, marks the first financial return following international enforcement actions against a global inventory of Akhmedov's assets which began earlier this year.
The helicopter was formerly owned by Lucy Ltd, a company utilised by Akhmedov in the Isle of Man. Prior to its seizure and sale, the helicopter was a transport shuttle for the 61-year-old oligarch to and from his superyacht Luna.
In 2016, a UK court awarded Tatiana Akhmedova Dh2.08 billion (£453 million) plus interest as part of a divorce settlement. Enforcement arrangements have ever since been made to track down all his assets, including a private jet and a motor vessel.
Superyacht M.V. Luna is currently being held under an international arrest warrant in Port Rashid in Dubai.
Tatiana Akhmedova's lawyer in the Isle of Man, Jonathan Wild, an advocate and Fraudnet asset recovery specialist with Callin Wild LLC, said: "The sale of this helicopter proves that our enforcement methods are not just working but bearing fruit. We have a long way to go until the full judgement debt is satisfied but we move closer to seizing and beginning to liquidate the remaining assets every day."
In 2017, the helicopter was seized when landing at an airport near Bodrum, Turkey. To enforce the 2016 UK court order, arrangements were made for the helicopter to be moved into nearby Greek airspace before a lengthy journey back to the Isle of Man.
The challenging enforcement efforts have ensued due to Akhmedov's failure to honour the UK court judgement.
The Dubai Court of Appeals confirmed on November 22 that the arrest warrant, under which M.V. Luna is being held at Port Rashid, shall not be lifted.
The court dismissed the appeal by the yacht owner and upheld an earlier court order that the vessel remains under arrest. The establishment has not contested this judgement as yet.
On August 29, the same court rejected an appeal filed by Akhmedov to lift a freezing order of his superyacht.
The vessel was seized at Port Rashid when it docked there for some maintenance work in February 2018, in implementation of the UK court order.
After rejecting Akhmedov's appeal in August and November, the court obliged the yacht owner to pay the court fees and the attorney costs.
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) courts had heard the lawsuit as a commercial case for about four months. In May, the DIFC courts dismissed the lawsuit and referred it to the Dubai Shariah Court as a marital dispute.
The legal battle over Luna comes within a divorce settlement seen as the largest divorce action. As per the UK court order, the billionaire was to pay £453 million to his ex-wife. He was directed to cede the 377-ft yacht to her after reportedly failing to comply with the court order.
M.V. Luna has two helipads, nine decks, 10 VIP cabins, a swimming pool and a spa.
mary@khaleejtimes.com
 
Timeline:
On December 15, 2016, UK high court in London awarded Ms. Akhmedova £ 453 m plus interest.
In October 2017, the helicopter was seized when landing at an airport near Bodrum, Turkey.
On February, 8, 2018, Luna was subject of a freezing injunction by a DIFC Courts order, upholding a UK court judgement, under which the vessel was impounded.
On August 29, 2018: the Dubai Court of Appeals rejected an appeal filed by Akhmedov to lift a freezing order of his superyacht.
On October 19, 2018: A Russian Court of Appeal rejected attempts by Akhmedov to prove the existence of a 2000 divorce, in which he sought to elude settling the outstanding £ 453 m judgement debt.
On November 22, 2018, the Dubai Court of Appeals confirmed that the arrest warrant, under which Luna is being held at Port Rashid shall not be lifted.
On December 13, the helicopter was sold.
How did Farkhad Akhmedov amass his fortune?
Farkhad Akhmedov's profile on Forbes shows that he got his start selling Russian sables at the London commodity exchange.
In 1987, he founded Tansley Trading, which supplied equipment to Russian gas producers.
Six years later, he became a minority shareholder in Northgas, an oil and gas company in Siberia.
In 1998, he bought out the 44 % stake of another investor Bechtel Energy, and became chairman. In 2012, he sold that stake for $1.4 b.
mary@khaleejtimes.com


More news from UAE