MAKSAT ASKARULY ARIP

47 years old | Fraud, misappropriation and wrongful conduct.

Born in Kazakhstan in 1970, Maksat Arip is a leading Kazakh businessman who has over 15 years' senior level experience working in the Russia and CIS region. Arip founded Exillon Energy Plc, a London premium listed Oil Company, which he chaired between November 2009 and April 2011. He was also instrumental in building the company into a billion dollar business, leading its successful IPO on the London Stock Exchange. However, Arip was also engaged in “business” activities which lead him to stand trial in the UK.

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Bogus property development sanctioned in the UK.

Maksat Arip and his business partner Baglan Zhunus were accused of fraudulently luring investors into making misguided and misinformed payments (between 2005 and 2009) to an allegedly independent construction company they had created together - Arka-Story LLP. The funds were supposed to be used to develop an industrial park and logistics centre in Kazakhstan.[1]

Defrauded investors denounced these as false claims, once they realised that barely any of the proposed work had even begun, and was nowhere near completion months down the line.

And all this time, little did the investors know that Arip - and his accomplice Zhunus – were in secret control of Arka-Story LLP, with payments being funnelled out to them through this entity.[2]

The extent of the deceit.

As a result of this underhand behaviour, investors contended that they had suffered losses equivalent to approximately US $102m.[3]

In order to achieve a sense of justice, the claimants filed a court case to the UK High Court of Justice in August 2013 – where they all applied for a freezing order against Arip’s assets across the world. This was granted by the Court judge, who made an injunction order amounting to £72m.[4] This order remains in place against Mr Arip’s worldwide assets to this date.

Not a first

If conning victims for US $102m wasn’t bad enough, it is alleged Arip purported a similar fraud between 2008 and 2009, known as the Astana fraud case, which resulted in a further loss of US $14m.

Another claimant filed supporting evidence to the court case in 2015, named the Land Plot fraud case, in which Arip was accused of purchasing land from Kazakhstani farmers at an extortionately cheap price – through the use of ‘nominee companies’, only to then sell them to the claimant at hyper-inflated prices.[5]

You can’t go back on your word.

As the court case proceeded, Arip learned Zhunus was looking to settle with the claimants. In retaliation, Maksat Arip filed for the court to impose an injunction and freeze Zhunus’ assets worldwide, to ensure he didn’t dissipate his assets prior to a court judgement being made. However, as a settlement had already been agreed between Zhunus and the claimants, the Court ruled that no legal proceeding existed  to support Arip’s application, and the request to freeze Zhunus’ assets was declined.[6]

Whilst claims brought against Zhunus were settled, the claimants made it clear that they would continue to pursue their claims against Arip, which stood at $250m in 2016.[7]

Arip continues to walk freely and live a well-off lifestyle, but the case against him is ongoing. As of 25 April 2017, he is embroiled in another 12 week court battle against Baglan Zhunus and claimants in the UK.[8]

[1] http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2016/1036.html
[2] http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2016/1036.html
[3] http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2016/1036.html
[4] http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2016/1036.html
[5] http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2016/1036.html
[6] http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2016/1036.html
[7] http://www.kazakhstankagazy.com/en/investor-relations/regulatory-news/988-update-regarding-litigation.html
[8] https://high-court-justice.vlex.co.uk/vid/cl-2013-000683-637929873 ; and http://www.kazakhstankagazy.com/en/news/news/1008-trial-in-the-london-high-court-proceedings-brought-by-kazakhstan-kagazy-group-against-its-former-shareholders-and-directors-will-commence-on-april-25,-2017.html

CHRONOLOGICAL PROCEEDINGS OF THE ZHUNUS CASE

UK – International – Rest of Europe

 

UK

International

Rest of Europe

2009

 
  • Initial allegations between 2005 and 2009 that defendants conducted fraud against one of the claimants, resulting in a loss of US $102m and $14m.[1]
 

2010

     

2011

     

2012

     

2013

  • August 2013: The company started proceedings against Zhunus, Maksat Askaruly Arip and Shynar Dikhanbayeva in the High Court in August 2013.[2]
  • Claimants apply for a freezing order against Arip of £72m.[3] This claim is granted by the court.
  • Arip files for injunction to be discharged, but the court rule against him. [4]

·          

 

2014

     

[1] http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2016/1036.html
[2] http://www.iii.co.uk/stockmarketwire/296363/kazakhstan-kagazy-agrees-settlement-zhunus
[3] http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2016/1036.html
[4] http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2016/1036.html