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Source: Vedomosti
Published at:
Date: 5th June 2014


Alfa-Bank reminds Georgy Trefilov of the obligations


In January 2014 Alfa-Bank appealed to the High Court of London with a claim for compensation from Trefilov in the amount of 371,430,000 rubles for debts and interests. As part of the claim the Russian bank requests recognition of the decision made by the Meshchansky district court of Moscow in 2008. Said decision was about the liability of guarantor Trefilov for the debts of his company "Elekskor". Following is an abstract from the claim: "Alfa-Bank is seeking enforcement of the judgment [made by the court in Russia] within England under the common law."

Yesterday London’s High Court reviewed the case, according to the schedule provided by the justice department site. At the time of writing this no information was given by the website about the outcome of the hearing. Alfa-Bank’s spokesman Dmitry Skibitsky told “Vedomosti” that “the English Court fully supported the bank’s claims and approved the stated demands”. We were unable to get a confirmation from the court this evening, and Trefilov was unavailable for comment as well.

According to Skibitsky the total amount for claims to be paid is 521.44 million rubles, including 153.2 million as accrued interest. While referring to the decision of the court, he confirmed that Trefilov must pay the stated amount by the 25th June 2014 and continued saying: “Additionally, until the date of actual repayment the interest will continue to grow at a Russian Central Bank’s rate (8.25%)”.

"Elekskor" operated the "Grossmart" retail network, which was the main asset of Trefilov’s "Marta" holding with its last store closing in late 2008. Besides "Grossmart" the holding had other shopping networks, such as Pur Pur, Billa (developed jointly with REWE group), online retailer and others. Aside from retail the holding company was also engaged in the production of polymer products and building materials. In 2007 the retail business has brought the holding more than $ 570 million in revenue. At that time the holding company was in the Top – 200 largest Russian companies according to Forbes.

In late summer 2008 “Marta” had accumulated several billion rubles in debt and defaulted on its bonds. LLC “Elekskor” requested to be recognised as bankrupt and by the end of 2012 was liquidated. The Investigative Committee of Russia’s interior ministry announced in 2010 that Trefilov was charged with fraud and put on an international wanted list. The criminal case under article “illegal obtaining of credit” was initiated at the request of BTF and offshore “Nybro Limited” banks. This was later followed by statements filed by Sberbank, Surgutneftegasbank and a number of other Russian banks.

Right now Trefilov remains in UK. Last year in May the Brighton Magistrates’ Court found him guilty of using counterfeit documents upon entry into UK. As a result he was sentenced to 18 months of probation. From the report by the Russian service of BBC, Trefilov was arrested in March 2013 in London’s Gatwick airport when he tried to enter UK using a Greek passport and an ID card with someone else’s name. According to BBC, Trefilov admitted his guilt.

There is no international agreement between Russia and UK when it comes to recognition and enforcement of judgements, says Boris Prozorov, partner of Gide Loyrette Nouel. He further explained saying: “The court is deciding not the factual question of whether the defendant should or should not pay, but rather the judicial – should it accept the enforcement of a foreign judgement on the territory of UK.” If the British court recognises this decision within UK, then to execute said judgement the necessary for repayments assets will be seized and then sold at auction by the British authorities, says Sergey Saveliev, partner of “Nektorov, Saveliev and Partners”.

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