A total of 41 vehicles were auctioned with the starting bids ranging from SCR60,000 to SCR850,000.
The Supreme Court of Seychelles started auctioning Vijay Construction’s vehicles at the Palais de Justice‘s yard on Thursday morning.
The proceeds of the auction will be used to pay off part of the company’s debt of €33 million owed to the Russian company Eastern European Engineering Limited (EEEL).
The auction comes less than three months after the Seychelles Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal by Vijay Construction and upheld the Supreme Court ruling which ordered Vijay to pay the cost of the litigation to Eastern European Engineering Limited (EEEL).
Vijay had appealed the decision of the Supreme Court handed down by Justice Ellen Carolus, who ruled on June 30, 2020, for Vijay to pay EEEL in line with a UK court order from 2015.
A total of 41 vehicles were auctioned with the starting bids ranging from SCR60,000 ($4,682) to SCR850,000 ($66,325). The vehicles were available for public viewing as of 8.30 am before the bidding began at 10 a.m.
The seized vehicles were pick-up trucks, cars and even two luxury vehicles – a Lexus and a Mercedes Benz.
All the vehicles were sold apart from the Mercedes Benz and a JCB excavator.
The bidding process for the 2 vehicles will continue tomorrow morning.
Vijay Construction, which is one of the largest companies in Seychelles, is undertaking several construction projects at the moment.
Founded in Seychelles in 1979 by V.J. Patel, Vijay Construction has built and commissioned several large developments including the Eden Island project – on the east coast of the main island of Mahe.
Dispute over construction project
The litigation case pertains to the EEEL hiring Vijay Construction to carry out construction work for the Savoy Hotel in 2011 through six contracts. Each of the six contracts included similar arbitration clauses, which provided that any dispute, disagreement or claim would be settled by arbitration in Paris.
The company filed a Request for Arbitration in September 2012 before the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris and received a sole arbitrator award in November 2014.
The costs to be incurred by Vijay Construction for breaking the contract were never paid partly because the award was not enforceable until Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, became a party to the 1958 New York Convention earlier this year.
In November 2020, the Seychelles Constitutional Court dismissed the case of Vijay Construction against the EEEL on the grounds that the matter had already been dealt with before a competent court.