A decision dated 1 June 2018 of the Court of Appeal in Singapore (the Singapore Court) that reinstated and expanded a Mareva injunction against fraudster defendants in a conspiracy claim has provided strong support for an earlier decision of the Hon. Justice Adderley in related proceedings in the BVI.
JTrust’s case is that the defendants conspired to defraud it by falsely inflating the performance of the entity in which it was investing and conspired to misappropriate those investments by making sham loans to fraudulent borrowers.
Two days before the ex parte injunction was obtained in Singapore, the BVI Court granted a worldwide freezing injunction against one of the same defendants (the mastermind behind the fraud) and his BVI company, the conduit of the fraud. The defendants also sought to discharge that injunction but Justice Adderley refused to do so, holding that it would be “extraordinary” not to continue it in the circumstances. JTrust had established a good arguable case and a serious risk of dissipation and the defendant was “a sophisticated businessman with a network of companies” and with “untrustworthy characteristics” who could “move assets quickly”.
In a decision that echoed the findings of Justice Adderley in the BVI, the Singapore Court reinstated the Mareva injunctions and even expanded them worldwide as against two of the defendants.
This decision demonstrates the importance of consistency between courts in multiple jurisdictions in complex cross-border cases. The JIN Guidelines which, although not yet used in this case, have been adopted in Singapore and the BVI can be extremely beneficial. They act as a framework setting out best practice on facilitating cooperation and communication between courts.