Riga City Zemgale Suburb Court has dismissed the claim of British Virgin Islands’ offshore companies Steropes Limited and Gyges Limited to be recognized as Ventbunkers shareholders. Besides, the court has also concluded that the representative of both offshore companies has failed to follow principles of good faith.
The court ruling clearly shows that both the offshore companies – Steropes and Gyges have been misleading the media and the Latvian Enterprise Register, as their representative Martins Kveps claims that they are AS Ventbunkers owners. Kveps himself is accused of grand fraud in the so-called digitalization case in Latvia.
The court also ruled that Steropes and Gyges representative’s intention to file the claim in a new redaction was an an attempt to avoid paying the state fee for each individual claim. The court stated that the plaintiff had not acted in accordance with the Civil Procedure Law, which provides that all parties must exercise their rights and meet obligations in good faith.
Riga City Zemgale Suburb Court dismissed the two offshore companies’ claim to ownership of Ventbunkers shares back on December 17, 2009. The action was directed against the legitimate Ventbunkers shareholders – the Dutch companies Yelverton Investments B.V., Yelverton Investment B.V and Rudolf Meroni.
Steropes and Gyges, which insist on being Ventbunkers owners, filed the claim the day before the so-called former Lembergs’ (Ventspils Mayor Aivars Lembergs) opponents unlawfully took over Ventbunkers. Ventspils oligarch Olafs Berkis was appointed as Supervisory Council Chairman. In fact, back then the only aim of the claim was to ban actual AS Ventbunkers owners from taking part in shareholders meetings. On December 13, 2011, Ventspils Court’s ruling (which entered into force on January 3, 2012) nullified AS Ventbunkers take-over carried out by Berkis and his team in the shareholders meeting held on December 18, 2009.
Ventbunkers informs that on April 26, 2012, the Supreme Court, Chamber of Civil Cases will hear the claim of Rudolf Meroni and Yelverton Investment B.V to recognize Yelverton Investment B.V’s ownership rights to 29.08% of Ventbunkers shares. The civil case is significant because it challenges the rights of Steropes and Gyges (represented by Kveps) to claim Ventbunkers ownership. Ventbunkers hopes that the Supreme Court’s ruling will be fair and independent, confirming that Steropes Limited and Gyges Limited are not Ventbunkers shareholders.
The case will be heard by Anita Cernavska against whom the Swiss attorney Rudolf Meroni last week filed a complaint to the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, pointing to her alleged corrupt practices. The attorney draws attention to possible links between the judge and the offshore companies Steropes un Gyges, assuming existence of some secret agreement “concluded in corrupt interests”.