BTA Bank - Kazakhstan issued the following announcement on Sept. 19.
On August 28, 2019, the information appeared in some Media that as the result of litigation between BTA Bank JSC and Atyraumunaigasgeologya JSC the mass dismissal of employees of the Atyraumunaigasgeologya JSC has begun. The authors of the publication wrote about the impending "social explosion" in Atyrau region. Whereby, only one side of the conflict was quoted as the evidence – Director of the Company, Askar Nugumanov.
In the media, the representative of the defendant, the Director of Atyraumunaigasgeologya JSC, Askar Nugumanov, said that: "Dismissal of workers is the consequences of the decision of the Head of the Investigative group of the Anti Corruption Agency of Kazakhstan Sergey Perov dated June 14, 2019, on the seizure of 100% of shares of Atyraumunaigasgeologya JSC."
For our part, we inform you that this statement is untrue and there is no conflict. BTA Bank JSC, which is being accused in this situation by Mr. Nugumanov, has no relation to the fact of mass dismissal. As a confirmation, we offer a detailed chronology of events.
In early May of 2007, Mukhtar Ablyazov and his accomplices stole funds of BTA Bank JSC in the amount of $ 100 million by lending these funds to Belinia Holdings LTD (hereinafter - Belinia). This fact was established later, on June 7, 2017, by the verdict of the Specialized Interdistrict Criminal Court of Almaty.
Half of the loan money was transferred to the companies controlled by the Safin family. On May 22, 2007, Atyraumunaigasgeologya JSC (hereinafter – AMGG) "received" $ 25 million. They were converted into 3 billion tenges and transferred as payment for the purchase of shares of AMGG of the new emission in accordance with the three sales and purchase agreements dated May 17, 2007.
Another $ 25 million settled in the accounts of MTA Securities&Investments Limited (hereinafter - MTA) on May 30, 2007. This amount was transferred to the MTA as the sole owner of the previously issued shares of AMGG in the form of payment for the pre-emptive right to repurchase the newly issued shares in accordance with three agreements concluded on May 15, 2007.
In both cases, the purchasers were companies controlled by Ablyazov, namely by Zafferant Partners Inc. (hereinafter Zafferant), Aldridge Ventures ltd. (hereinafter – Aldridge) and Branden&Associates ltd. (hereinafter - Branden). It was through them that Belinia "passed" the credit funds of BTA Bank JSC.
As a result of transactions with shareholders, the companies Zafferant, Aldridge and Branden (50,12%) and the Safin family-controlled company MTA (49,88%), all controlled by Ablyazov became shareholders of AMGG.
In mid-July of the same year BTA Bank JSC issued loans to Zafferant, Aldridge and Branden companies for a total amount of 6.1 billion tenges. As collateral, three pledge agreements were concluded in the total amount of 50.12% of AMGG shares.
Later, by the decision of shareholders, AMGG was reorganized into two joint-stock companies - Atyraumunaigasgeologya JSC and North Caspian Petroleum JSC (hereinafter - NCP) - with the same composition of shareholders: Zafferant Partners Inc. (16%), Aldridge Ventures ltd. (18.12%), Branden&Associates ltd (16%), MTA Securities&Investments Limited (49.88%). At the same time, the collateral in the form of 50.12% of AMGG shares was replaced by 50.12% of NCP shares in accordance with the pledge agreements dated December 9, 2008. However, the pledge agreements were not properly registered, which allowed the MTA to withdraw the shares from the pledge and sell them to third parties under the following circumstances.
It is known that in 2009 Mukhtar Ablyazov left Kazakhstan. Almost immediately the Director of the MTA company Zhanna Safina has signed agreements on the termination of the sales and purchase agreements of the shares of AMGG, where collateral in the form of shares of AMGG and NCP have moved from the Ablyazov-controlled companies Zafferant, Aldridge, and Branden in possession of the MTA company, controlled by Safina for $ 1.
Let us recall that BTA Bank JSC received 50.12% shares of the NCP as a collateral, but in the result of actions of Safina and entities, controlled by Ablyazov, the Bank was deprived of the opportunity to receive reimbursement at the expense of the NCP shares on loans of Ablyazov's companies Zafferant, Aldridge and Branden amounting to $ 6.1 billion. The indebtedness on these loans of the above companies to BTA Bank JSC has not yet been extinguished.
In recent years, BTA Bank JSC has been carrying out the painstaking work on the return of stolen assets. The criminal case against Mukhtar Ablyazov and his accomplices consists of more than 100 volumes, the stolen assets are being returned in stages, and each time it is preceded by enormous work and numerous trials.
The resolution of Specialized Interdistrict Criminal Court of Almaty dated 22.07.2019 on the application of BTA Bank JSC changed the way and procedure of execution of the verdict of the Court dated 07.06.2017 in the part of recovery of damages from M.K. Ablyazov by taking possession of the property of companies under his control - AMGG and NCP up to the amount of 3 billion tenges, as well as MTA – up to the amount of $ 25 million.
"We believe the resolution of Specialized Interdistrict Criminal Court of Almaty, which was the cause of mass dismissals, is unreasonable and illegal, imposed in material violation of substantive and procedural law and the court's findings about the ownership of Atyraumunaigasgeologya JSC belonging to the wanted fugitive Ablyazov are not corresponding to actual circumstances of the case", - said Askar Nugumanov in an interview.
However, on August 28 the resolution of appeal instance upheld the resolution of Specialized Interdistrict Criminal Court of Almaty dated July 22.
Also on July 2, 2019, the BTA Bank JSC filed a claim to the Specialized Interdistrict Economic Court of Almaty to invalidate the agreements dated June 15, 2009, on the free return of 50.12% of shares of AMGG and NCP from Zafferant, Branden and Aldridge companies in the property of MTA with the application of consequences of invalidity of legal transactions.
Mr. Nugumanov, commenting on the mass dismissal of employees of the Atyraumunaigasgeologya JSC, emphasizes on the "guilt" of BTA Bank JSC. But he also conceals the fact that the company which he manages, in due time became part of the fraudulent scheme developed by Mukhtar Ablyazov. Years later, according to the court decision, BTA Bank JSC will finally be able to return some of its stolen assets.
It is important to note that BTA Bank JSC did not take any measures to block the work of AMGG. For return of the stolen means the stable-operating enterprise is necessary. Otherwise, the asset recovery process is meaningless.
The question remains why Askar Nugumanov covers the decisions of the company's shareholder at the expense of the reputation of BTA Bank JSC. Moreover, until September 16, 2019, the judicial act on the recovery of funds from AMGG and NCP in favor of BTA Bank JSC, which entered into force, was not presented for enforcement.
In this connection, we consider that the data specified in the article on paralyzing the work of the companies of AMGG and NSP and dismissal of workers are unreliable and are subject to check by local supervising bodies on legality.
Original source can be found here.