Not accidental bankruptcy: 122 pages with proof to deliberately sink VIM Airlines sent to Investigative Committee

Questionable deals at hundreds of million rubles when monitoring in the airline

Not accidental bankruptcy: 122 pages with proof to deliberately sink VIM Airlines sent to Investigative Committee Photo: Maksim Platonov

Svetlana and Rashid Mursekayevs' VIM Airlines has been declared bankrupt – it's the decision of the Arbitration Court of Tatarstan it made on 26 September. As it turned out at the hearing, the temporary manager had detected several doubtful deals described on 122 pages and sent them to the Investigative Committee to Moscow. Analysis of the airline's actions gave foundation to suppose its bankruptcy was deliberate. Realnoe Vremya tells the details.

Signs of deliberate bankruptcy found at VIM Airlines

If in February VIM Airlines's judicial representative asked the court to give a chance to get the company out of the debt pit, another representative agreed with a requirement of creditors to launch the bankruptcy procedure more than six months later. Such a development of events became expected, but other interesting details became known when considering the application.

Temporary manager at VIM Airlines Maria Bulatova told in the court there weren't found signs of fictive bankruptcy, but there did are found signs of a deliberate one. An application on this matter was sent to the Investigative Committee to Moscow, after it was sent to the Investigative Committee of Tatarstan.

''There had being made deals for three years whose totality could lead to bankruptcy. There were found 122 pages of facts, different sums, different deals, different foundation appear there,'' Bulatova told. It's a matter of hundreds of million rubles.

Svetlana and Rashid Mursekayevs' VIM Airlines has been declared bankrupt – it's the decision of the Arbitration Court of Tatarstan. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Majority agreed with bankruptcy

According to Bulatova, 25 of its members participated at the first meeting of creditors on 19 September of whom 23 had the right to vote. VIM Airlines owes them 91,56% of the total debt. The candidacy of a member of the Union Arbitration Managers Self-Regulated Organisation Aleksandr Maksimov was offered as arbitration manager at the meeting. 53% of creditors voted for him. There was a reward of 30,000 rubles for his services.

According to the temporary manager's report, the first-stage creditors have no money. The second stage included 1,312 creditors with a total value of 329m rubles of the main debt and 4 million 212,000 rubles of compensation for delayed salary. Two creditors were provided with a bail at the third stage, the sum of their main debt totalled 690m 194,000 rubles. In addition, secured sanctions were equal to 68m 882,000 rubles.

89 third-stage creditors weren't secured. The airline owed them 11bn 44m 144,000 rubles of the main debt and another 3bn 840m 564,000 rubles came from fees, fines and penalties. And it excludes taxes. The total debt amounted to 15,6bn rubles.

Disappeared millions of non-material values

The temporary manager didn't dare to approve the exact value of the airline's property.

''It's impossible to say the exact sum of the property. According to data on the balance as from 31 December 2017, the property was evaluated at 17bn 11m 171,000 rubles. But the financial analysis was carried out with an auditor, and it says it wasn't possible to confirm the authenticity of several indicators, particularly accounts receivable,'' Bulatova commented.

The financial analysis suggests, the airline's key money totalled 2bn 165m 387,000 rubles. But the location of part of them is unknown.

The financial analysis suggests, the airline's key money totalled 2bn 165m 387,000 rubles. But the location of part of them is unknown. Photo: rtp.expert

VIM Airlines's non-material assets totalled 336m – trademarks and emission quotas.

''But trademarks were completely recouped, while emission quotas ran out. That's to say, these data aren't true,'' the temporary manager explained.

It wasn't possible to confirm the authenticity of inventory at 936m rubles, as the temporary manager didn't have access to warehouses in Germany and in Domodedovo – they were partly sealed by the Investigative Committee, while the location of the property is simply partly unknown. It will become possible to examine it in receivership.

Will investigation find out?

After the break, judge Mikhail Averyanov decided to launch bankruptcy proceedings for the airline with receivership until 26 January. Arbitration manager Aleksandr Maksimov will undertake this process.

Apart from other things, he will have to challenge deals that were suspicious during monitoring procedures.

''In fact, quite many deals were enumerated, particularly mainly meeting the creditors' requirements, deals with unequal counter-claims,'' told Maria Bulatova.

The judge decided to launch bankruptcy proceedings for the airline with receivership until 26 January. Photo: Maksim Platonov

It should be reminded that after the major investigation during the criminal case, the State Investigative Administration of the Investigative Committee of Russia lifted the company's former top managers' accusations of fraudulence but made new ones. Former VIM Airlines Director General Aleksandr Kochnev, Vice-President Alevtina Kalashnikova and accountant Ekaterina Panteleyeva recognise abuse of authority that entailed serious consequences.

In addition, the airline becoming a bankrupt couldn't pay its employees all debts. According to the data published on VIM Airlines official website, more than two-thirds of the debt was paid in July 2018, which is 507 million rubles. TASS said the debt of the airline owes its employees totalled 329m rubles at the first meeting of creditors.

By Maria Gorozhaninova
Tatarstan