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Saturday 20 October 2018

Russian giant goes after Quinns' assets

THE Russian firm that the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation has called in to recover the Quinn family's assets for the taxpayer is part of one of the biggest investment and financial groups in Russia.

The bank claims A1, which is part of the Alfa Group, is now its only chance of recovering the $500m (€389.8m) property portfolio that the Quinn family has been accused of squirrelling away.

IBRC, which has entered into a joint venture with A1, will initially pay the firm €31m and it stands to make up to €155m if it is successful.

The company has experience in asset recovery in Russia and Ukraine, according to an affidavit by Richard Woodhouse of IBRC. While IBRC carries no clout in Ukraine or Russia, individuals and organisat-ions will "be wary" of going up against A1.

While the cost to the Irish taxpayer is high, Mr Woodhouse claimed the bank was forced to enter into the joint venture accord because of actions of some of the Quinn family. The bank has been "hampered" by the family's "fraudulent activities".

Each time it secured some success against members of the Quinn family the successes were reversed by backdating documents or loan assignments. The turning point came last month. Having gained control of the Kutuzoff tower in Moscow after one costly legal battle, it lost control of it on October 24, after yet another legal battle.

Sean Quinn, his son and the family continue to deny that they control assets in Russia, Ukraine and India, so therefore they can't help get them back.

Mr Quinn might find some consolation on hearing that the Russian who owns the company that's coming after his family's foreign assets is a self-made billionaire, as he once was. Mikhail Fridman was a window cleaner before founding the Alfa Group and becoming a classic Russian oligarch.

Sunday Independent

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