Fugitive banker Mukhtar Ablyazov's homes in The Bishops Avenue and St John's Woods to be sold
PUBLISHED: 16:00 29 May 2013
Luxury homes seized from a fugitive businessman accused of embezzling billions of pounds from a bank in Kazakhstan have been placed on the market.
Three homes belonging to Mukhtar Ablyazov, including a £20million mansion in The Bishops Avenue and a £1million apartment in St John’s Wood, will be sold to recoup some of the £3billion Mr Ablyazov is alleged to have pocketed fraudulently as former chairman of BTA Bank.
A High Court judge has now given receivers KPMG the go-ahead to sell Ablyazov’s properties in The Bishops Avenue and St John’s Wood, as well as a 100-acre estate in Windsor, known as Oaklands Park, worth another £20million.
Meanwhile, Ablyazov has disappeared, believed to have fled the UK on a bus bound for Europe, and faces a 22-month prison sentence imposed for contempt of court in trying to hide his fortune.
Among Ablyazov’s former properties now on the market is Carlton House, a mansion in The Bishops Avenue, Barnet – known as Billionaires’ Row – which boasts a 50ft ballroom, a library, nine bedroom suites, a swimming pool and a 12-person Turkish bath.
An apartment belonging to Ablyazov in Palgrave Gardens, a gated development near Lord’s Cricket Ground, in St John’s Wood – offering a communal swimming pool, gym and porter service – is also on the market.
So too is Oaklands Park, the Windsor estate with eight houses, an arboretum, tennis courts, lakes, woodlands and a helipad.
The homes have been put up for sale in the wake of High Court judge Mr Justice Teare convicting Ablyazov of contempt in February last year for failing to appear at a Royal Courts of Justice hearing.
He was sentenced to 22 months’ imprisonment in his absence, at which point it was noted that he had gone into hiding and not even his solicitors knew where he was.
Pavel Prosyankin, the Kazakh bank’s managing director who is overseeing the process of seizing Ablyazov’s assets, said: “This order is another important step forward in the bank’s effort to recover the billions of dollars in assets which Mr Ablyazov misappropriated while chairman.
“We can now move to liquidate these assets. The bank will continue to leverage the English High Court judgements to pursue assets across the globe.”