Danish company BIIR fends off attempt to take back its building
Subject of complaint: Odesa Oblast Prosecutor’s Office
Complaint in brief: On September 1, 2017, BIIR Property, a subsidiary of BIIR Danish Engineering turned to the BOC. Former owners were trying to illegally take back a building belonging to the Complainant.
BIIR had launched operations in Odesa in 2014, after being forced to relocate from Luhansk. With plans to expand its staff, in March 2017 the company bought a building for its office from a financial company. Within days problems began. The former owner, Megas-Stroy, claimed ownership of building.
But the court rulings register showed that Megas-Stroy had lost ownership of the building because it had defaulted on its mortgage. As the right of claim was transferred from one bank to another, a financial firm had purchased the facility, and BIIR Property, in turn, bought it from them.
However, the Complainant said that Megas-Stroy decided to get the building back at any cost and appealed to the Prosecutor’s Office and the courts. It assured the Prosecutor's Office that the financial company had taken possession of the building by fraud. In court, the former owner claimed that the financial company had attempted to claim the building as collateral, which was not expressly provided for in the mortgage agreement.
Determined not to let things lie, Megas-Stroy managed to get several rulings from an investigation judge at the Prymorsk District Court of Odesa City to seize the building. In addition, the lower commercial court ruled that the agreement under which the financial company had acquired the building was illegal and demanded that the facility be returned to Megas-Stroy company.
Actions taken: In March 2018, the Council’s investigator addressed the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine (PGO) with a request to check the proper conduct of a preliminary investigation by the National Police in the criminal proceeding. To ensure the objectivity of the investigation, the case was handed over from Odesa to Kyiv. For three months, the Council monitored the progress of implementing recommendations by law enforcement agencies. During 2018, the investigator brought the company’s case up for consideration by the PGO’s Expert Group several times.
Result achieved: In early June, the National Police decided to close the criminal proceeding against the Complainant. Ownership of the building in Odesa was confirmed as legally BIIR