The First Instance Court in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has been recently hearing an inheritance case, the circumstances of which, if we take a closer look at them, are rather curious, and suggest that Dubai perhaps has become a place where some persons, connected to the Russian criminal circles, are trying to carry out seizure of expensive real estate.
This story began four years ago, on the 13 of May, 2014, when a 42-year old Russian national, businessman Dmitry Timinskiy, suddenly died in a private villa in Dubai. He worked as the financial director of a Russian company and made substantial investments in real estate construction in UAE, attracting the funds of both Russian and foreign investors. Having a UAE resident visa, he registered all the property in his name. Thus he became the owner of expensive property in Dubai. Does not it seem strange that a prosperous businessman in the prime of life suddenly passes away? We will not answer this question right now; let us just give an account of the events that followed his death.
This is what happened next: Dmitry Timinskiy’s wife, Natalia, a woman from a small Russian provincial town, with whom he had not maintained any relationship for the last 10 years, despite not being officially divorced, vigorously entered the fight over businessman’s inheritance. The situation appears to be rather trivial. Except for the fact that some shady persons all of a sudden sided with the widow and on her behalf laid claims to a large part of the deceased man’s property, trying to push aside other successors – his old mother, brother, and Dmitry’s creditors – investors who loaned money to the businessman and are now interested to return them.
Having talked to the lawyers representing the mentioned successors and creditors, as well as having conducted a small research, which included studying publications by the Russian mass media, the author of the present article has discovered interesting facts. The persons, who act on behalf of widow Natalia Timinskaya and accompany her to all meetings with advocates and court hearings, are infamous Russian raiders, who used to “specialize” in illegal takeovers of commercial property in Moscow, namely, Mr. Alexander Boksha and Mr. Alexander Zolochevsky. For years they implemented schemes of large property seizures in Russia, using mostly criminal methods and even resorting to downright violence. Russian crime news repeatedly mentioned their names and the name of their company (so-calledRosbuilding Group). You can imagine the scale of these people’s raider activities if you find out, for example, that one of the companies headed by Alexander Zolochevsky within short time took over 38 agricultural enterprises in 15 regions of Russia (!), and Mr. Alexander Boksha took active part in illegal takeovers of horticultural warehouses.
Despite obviously criminal flavor of their actions, Mr. Boksha and Mr. Zolochevsky got away with it (which comes as no surprise, taken into account the problems with rule of law in Russia). At present they continue to carry out the activities they are accustomed to, even though their methods have become more “lawful” from a legal perspective.
Obviously, Natalia Timinskaya, being aware that her de facto former, but de jure current spouse was a rather wealthy man, decided to acquire his property, which, she believed, she was entitled to. And she found “allies” in this affair – the abovementioned persons. Perhaps, it was them who “approached” the widow (or she was still “the wife” then?..) of Dmitry Timinskiy with an offer of their assistance. Anyway, which is important, is that their interests coincided. Of course, having studied these people’s records, it is impossible to cherish illusions that they may help her for free. Naturally, they count on taking possession of Dmitry Timinsky’s inheritance, and they probably want to leave the widow high and dry. By some accounts they have actually taken Natalia under their “wing” and restricted her contacts with the outside world as much as possible, in order to control her actions and eliminate the chance of any attempts on her part to reach peaceful settlement with other successors.
Now a real war is going on in the Court in Dubai, where, on the one side, there is the widow and the Russian raiders, and on the other – the rest of Dmitry Timinsky’s family and his creditors. Outside the courtroom this struggle, as it turns out, evolves into real crime. Thus, Mr. Boksha and Mr. Zolochevsky tried, using their corruptive connections in law enforcement bodies in Moscow, to bring criminal charges against the brother of Dmitry Timinsky – in order to exclude him from participation in the court proceedings. Then they started pressuring the investors – creditors, issuing explicit threats to create problems in their business. They lodged a number of complaints, again, on behalf of the “inconsolable widow” to the Russian law-enforcement bodies with the purpose to file criminal cases, fabricated by corrupt cops, against Russian investors. According to our information, they even got access to employees of creditor companies, in order to settle the issues by means of bribe or threats. All with one purpose – to prevent the repayment of debts to the creditors of Dmitry Timinsky, who loaned him money for real estate construction in Dubai.
Of course, both the “devastated widow” and her representatives would prefer if the case was heard in Russia, where “all is under control”, but, according to the Russian legislation, as far as immovable property is concerned, succession is governed by the law of the country, where this property is located. This is why they have to deal now with the court system of another country. And the law-enforcement agencies of OAE will not allow Russian mafia to employ the same methods as they do in their country and initiate criminal cases without a reasonable basis.
So who masterminded the scheme of Dubai real estate takeover? The raiders or the widow? There are no answers to these questions, and we may only guess, how the story will end. But can it be that Dubai has become a Russian mafia “territory”? Hopefully, not. And there is no doubt that the esteemed Dubai Court, having sorted out the intricacies of the Russian law and the Shariah law of OAE, as well as the twists and turns of this complicated case, will arrive at fair verdict. Alhamdulillah!