In the latest success for Kazakhstan Kagazy Group against Maksat Arip, Mr Justice Jacobs has ordered Sholpan Arip (Mr Arip’s wife) and Larissa Asilbekova (Sholpan Arip’s mother) to pay KK Group’s legal costs of over £13 million.
Mrs Arip and Ms Asilbekova were found to have provided the funds required to maintain Mr Arip’s “dishonest defence”, and that it was just for the Kazakhstan Kagazy claimants to now look to them for payment. The judge also noted that the Arips and Ms Asilbekova had participated in a scheme to prevent the claimants from being able to enforce against Mr Arip’s assets:
“I am satisfied on the evidence that there has clearly been an asset dissipation exercise by Mrs. Arip, with substantial funds having been passed to her mother as part of that exercise. Ms. Asilbekova has been content to assist. The obvious reason for this exercise is that Mrs. Arip, with the assistance of her mother, has sought to protect family assets from potential and actual enforcement by the Claimants.”
The London High Court has issued worldwide freezing orders against the assets of Mr Arip, Mrs Arip and Ms. Asilbekova. The Kagazy Group claimants have secured substantial assets in London and Switzerland for enforcement, and are continuing with efforts to identify and secure further assets to satisfy the $315m judgment debt owed to them by Mr Arip.
Richard Lewis, the Hogan Lovells LLP partner leading Kagazy Group’s enforcement proceedings, said "This is an important step in the Kagazy Group's ongoing attempts to recover the significant sums misappropriated from it. It makes clear that anyone improperly assisting Mr Arip can expect to be held to account".