Thursday 17 October 2019

Anglo moves to jail Sean Quinn, his son and nephew for alleged asset transfers

Sean Quinn: papers served
Sean Quinn: papers served

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

A BID by the former Anglo Irish Bank to jail Sean Quinn, his son Sean Quinn junior and his nephew Peter Quinn, for contempt of court over the alleged transfer of millions of euro in foreign property assets, will begin in the High Court next week.

Anglo, now known as the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), alleges the men breached court orders not to interfere with the family's €500m international property portfolio which fell under the bank's control last year.

The move is the most serious escalation to date in the long-running battle between the IBRC and the Quinn family.

The battle involves some 25 properties in seven different countries including Ireland, Russia and the Ukraine.

Papers were served on the men's Dublin lawyers yesterday afternoon after the IBRC got permission from High Court judge Mr Justice Frank Clarke to bring the contempt motion.

The IBRC has claimed that that the Quinns, or companies and individuals connected to them, facilitated the transfer of assets -- including several landmark properties in Eastern Europe -- into the control of mysterious offshore companies in Belize and the British Virgin Islands.

The contempt of court move comes just days after the IBRC lost part of a key case in the Ukraine that could thwart its efforts to seize a $78m (€59m) shopping centre in Kiev, which was part of the Quinn Group.

It also comes as the bank is battling to prevent the $180m (€136m) Kutuzoff Tower in Moscow -- the jewel in the Quinn's crown -- from falling under the control of a Belize-based company or new, unknown creditors who appeared in a court in Moscow last week.

The IBRC previously claimed that the Kutuzoff Tower was sold by Sean Quinn's five children to their cousin Peter for €1,000.

The contempt motion will be heard on Friday week and will be "vigorously defended" by the Quinns, who last night said that they refute the allegations.

If the bank's motion succeeds, the three men could be jailed until they purge their contempt. This could also involve action to reverse or undo the alleged asset transfers.

Last night, the IBRC remained tight-lipped on its latest move.

"This is a matter for the court and is at the court's discretion," a spokesman said.

The IBRC, which says it is owed €2.88bn by the Quinns, has reached a deal with bondholders in respect of the manufacturing arm of the former Quinn Group.


And Quinn Insurance was sold to US insurer Liberty Mutual and is being operated as a joint venture with the IBRC.

The real battleground is the Quinn family's international assets in Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and India, which are worth an estimated €500m.

Last year the IBRC secured temporary orders in the High Court in Dublin to prevent Sean Quinn Snr and others from doing anything to jeopardise the Quinn group's property portfolio.

The bank's case is against Mr Quinn; his children Ciara, Colette, Sean Jnr, Brenda and Aoife; his nephew Peter; sons-in-law Stephen Kelly and Niall McPartland; and companies Quinn Investments Sweden AB and Indian Trust AB.

They were prohibited from taking any step to transfer any assets of several named overseas Quinn companies to third parties or facilitating any person or corporate entity to breach share pledges agreed by the family's international property companies.

Irish Independent

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