herald

Tuesday 19 September 2017

Now we'll hunt down Quinn's riches - Anglo

TAXPAYER-owned Anglo Irish Bank will now hunt down Sean Quinn's assets after he was declared bankrupt in the High Court.

THE former billionaire has admitted his business career is over after his bankruptcy was made official in the Republic.

Anglo -- recently rebranded as the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) -- successfully challenged Mr Quinn's declaration in Belfast, which could have seen him discharge his debts after one year.

The process takes up to 12 years in Dublin.

But although Mr Quinn conceded defeat in the first battle, the war between the bank and former billionaire is not over.

The former insurance, cement and property magnate now must supply a list of his assets and make himself available to the court official charged with taking control of his financial affairs. However, there is little prospect that Mr Quinn (65) will be in a position to pay back his massive debts.

Last November Mr Quinn said he had assets worth less than £50,000 (¤60,000) when he applied for bankruptcy at the High Court in Belfast.

Mr Quinn repeated his claims that the IBRC was pursuing a vendetta against him.

In a statement after the High Court bankruptcy order was confirmed yesterday, Mr Quinn said the IBRC had "achieved their goal of ensuring that I will never create another job".

But State-owned IBRC has denied the claim that it is pursuing a legal course to destroy Mr Quinn's business prospects.

It said that its singular focus was to recover as much as possible from the remaining assets.

"It is this singular focus that is in the best interests of the State," a representative added.

The IBRC must wait for the bankruptcy official to investigate Mr Quinn's affairs to see what assets, if any, can be recouped for the Irish taxpayer.

IBRC can then step up its global search for assets under the Quinn family name and focus on other legal actions concerning the ownership of a €500m international property portfolio.

In April, the bank seized control of the privately held Quinn Group, a conglomerate based in Northern Ireland.

In court documents filed last year in Cyprus, the bank alleged that members of the Quinn family were involved in a "conspiracy" to move some of these property assets beyond the reach of the bank.

IBRC has filed lawsuits in the UK, Ireland, Sweden and Ukraine to try to prevent the transfer of properties it claims are mortgaged to the bank.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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