How does this happen? Almost appears as if someone nearly got away with taking an MD-80 to Russia and skipping out on the 16 million dollar deal. Plane was diverted to MKE. Amazing.
There is apparently a “business dispute” going on regarding the plane. The buyer seems to have decided to take things into its own hands by liberating it back to Russia.
“Reports that military aircraft were used to ground the plane Saturday were unconfirmed today…”
Looks like the dispute has been resolved. The Russians agreed to fork over the $2.2million for “extra fuel tanks” (wink) that seems to be a code word for adding a Karaoke machine and other luxuries to the plane without the shareholders finding out. Oh how I miss living in a country where corruption is the norm.
Agreement reached in U.S. in squabble over plane headed to Russia
The Associated PressPublished: March 29, 2007
MILWAUKEE: A Russian company has agreed to pay $2.2 million (1.65 million) to complete the purchase of a corporate jet, a lawyer for the sellers said, paving the way for the plane to leave Milwaukee, where it has been grounded since Saturday.
A restraining order preventing the plane from taking off was lifted by a Delaware Chancery Court late Wednesday, said Sean Bellew, an attorney for N871DP LLC, the Delaware-based seller of the plane.
The buyer, a company called Siviera, a subsidiary of Russian telecommunications conglomerate Sistema, agreed to turn over the remainder of the roughly $16 million (12 million) price for the plane, he said. The money had been held in an escrow account in Oklahoma City.
“We have no further reason to prohibit them from taking the plane,” Bellew said.
Sistema released a statement Thursday saying the dispute was over extra fuel tanks it had paid for but were never installed, Russia’s Interfax-AVN news agency reported.
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Bellew declined to comment on Sistema’s claim.
Martin Weinberg, a New York-based lawyer for Siviera, said the company was now working with the Federal Aviation Administration to get permission to fly the plane.
FAA officials said securing the permit could take several days.
The FAA ordered the plane grounded on Saturday as it was heading to Canada, and eventually, Moscow. Peter DeLisa, one of the sellers, said they learned it had taken off from Fort Worth, Texas, where it was undergoing repairs, despite a restraining order they had. He said the sellers called authorities because they were concerned about who was flying the plane and where it was going.
His company sought a restraining order Friday, DeLisa said, because Siviera said the previous day that it wanted to back out of the deal for the MD-87. Siviera still owed more than $2.2 million (1.65 million) on the plane, which seats 19 people and has a bedroom, he said.
The Delaware Chancery Court extended the restraining order earlier this week.
Sistema is considered the largest private consumer services company in Russia. Its portfolio of businesses includes telecommunications, insurance, real estate, banking and pharmaceuticals. It posted revenues of nearly $7.6 billion (5.69 billion) in 2005.
The way the story seems to be unfolding is that the call made about the plane being stolen was bogus and that there was no restraining order at the time the call was made. Bring a plane down over money? How did that happen? Isn’t that as much of a security risk that someone can bring a plane down with a phone call? This bothers me a great deal and I wonder what really went on with this aircraft. Something smells about this whole story.