State-controlled Ukranian PrivatBank has recently issued a new claim in a Cypriot court seeking damages of US$5.5 for alleged money laundering, according to Interfax.
The Bank alleges that the illegal actions were perpetrated by former owners Igor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov, one of its former senior executives, Timur Novikov, and two Cypriot companies – PrimeCap (Cyprus) Limited and Duxton Holdings Limited.
The new claim was served in Cyprus on April 3, 2020, after the Cypriot court granted a document preservation order against PrimeCap. Service on the overseas defendants will follow in due course.
PrivatBank had physical presence in Cyprus with two branches in operation – one in Nicosia and another in Limassol – before taken over by the state.
The Bank’s claim relates to two sets of transactions that the Bank alleges were unlawfully implemented between 2013 and 2016 at the direction of its former owners with the assistance of the other defendants.
These involved vast sums being paid to companies owned and/or controlled by Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov pursuant to what the Bank alleges were sham loan agreements, none of which have been repaid.
Those transactions include a scheme by which US$2.34 billion was routed to a Cypriot company connected to the former shareholders of the Bank, Duxton Holdings Limited, in almost daily tranches of US$30 million over a four month period in 2013.
This claim brings the combined amount claimed by PrivatBank against Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov in England, Cyprus, the US and Israel to a total of over US$10 billion.
In a statement the Bank said it remains committed to obtaining full compensation from its former owners in respect of the damage caused to it whilst under their ownership and control.
By Evagoras Procopiou