The District Court of Limassol, Cyprus, has arrested nearly $46 million worth of Dmytro Firtashi’s property as part of a lawsuit by Russia’s VTB Bank, Kommersant reports.
The lawsuit was filed on 20 December 2018, and within the week, the Ukrainian businessman’s property was placed under arrest as an interim measure. The consideration of the case is scheduled for the end of January.
The lawsuit concerns the debts of PJSC Ukrainian Chemical Products and LLC Titan Investments, which own factories in Russia-occupied Crimea. According to Kommersant, Firtash is the beneficial owner of both companies.
In April 2015, VTB Bank issued Ukrainian Chemical Products and Titan Investments a loan, but the companies stopped making repayments in February 2016, and so VTB began the litigation.
According to the news outlet’s sources, the lawsuit against Firtash and “a number of persons and companies connected to him” to recover losses caused by “the respondents’ fraudulent actions” meant the arrest of $45,7 million in movable and immovable property.
The plaintiffs asked for interim measures to be used on the billionaire’s property and the companies Group DF Holdings Ltd., Letan Investments Ltd., and Tolexis International Ltd. The sources claim that the first is effectively Dmytro Firtash’s parent company which manages all of his assets.
Firtash, who is board chairman of Group DF Holdings, now resides in Austria. He was arrested by the local authorities on 12 March 2014 at the US government’s request.
During the previous US administration, the Ukrainian businessman was accused of using $18.5 million in bribes in an attempt to secure permission to mine titanium raw materials in India, which would then be sold to the US as finished products. Firtash denied all the allegations, claiming that they were politically motivated and designed to restrict his political influence on processes in Ukraine.
Firtash is currently litigating to prevent his extradition to the US.