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Published On: Sun, Oct 17th, 2021

Ansary’s attorneys: No evidence of solvency deficit at ENNIA

WILLEMSTAD — “The plaintiffs present circumstances that are incorrect, in violation of the law or otherwise simply made up,” attorneys Karan Doekhi and Mirto Murray said on the second day of the lawsuit the ENNIA Group and the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten (CBCS) have brought against majority shareholder Hushang Ansary and former board members of the insurance company. ENNIA claims damages for an amount of at least 854 million guilders (around $477 million) from the defendants.

The court is expected to rule on the dispute within six to eight weeks, the Antilliaans Dagblad reported on Saturday.

Doekhi and Murray told the court that there is no factual or legal substantiation for the claim that Ansary has favored himself. “The return on investment at ENNIA was good and there is no evidence of damages; but ENNIA  and the CBCS depict Ansary as the one who has robbed the company.”

The attorneys stated that ENNIA’s financial position has worsened since the court imposed the emergency regulation in July 2018, because the central bank has made unnecessary expenditures to the tune of 20 million guilders ($11.2 million). Those expenditures cover the cost of the lawsuit and the costs of external advisors.

Doekhi and Murray furthermore stated that there is no evidence of a solvency deficit at the ENNIA Group as the CBCS has claimed. The attorneys said that ENNIA and CBCS had dropped this part of their demands. “This triggers questions about the need for the emergency regulation now that it suddenly appears that there is no solvency deficit.”

The attorneys pointed out that policy-holders have always been paid, with the exception of Abdallah Andraous, a confidant of Ansary. “His pension was stopped after the emergency regulation.” Andraous is contesting this measure in court.

The attorneys also stated that contested dividend payments fall within the rules of regular business. ´They were always made after advice from external accountants.”

Ansary, who was present during the court hearing, wants to hear Bob Traa as a witness. Traa was the interim president of the Central Bank for half a year before he stepped down at the end of 2019. His “meet and greet” meeting with Ansary in October of that year, suggested by Perry Geerlings, at the time St. Maarten’s Minister of Finance, was controversial. The Central Bank stated later that no agreements were made during that meeting.

Ansary also wants to get Miranda van der Hoeven, a jurist and attorney involved with the ENNIA Group, on the witness stand. Other witnesses the defense wants to hear are Shelwyn Sealesia, a former deputy director of supervision at CBCS, former CBCS-President Emsley Tromp and Fons Simon, the director of Banco di Caribe.

Photo caption: Mr. Hushang Ansary outside the courthouse in Curacao. Photo taken from the Antilliaans Daglbad.

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