Diamond distributor secures injunction preventing sale of €585,000 worth of jewels

Order obtained by World Diamond Group SPA following an alleged refusal by defendant to return a consignment of goods

An Italian diamond distribution company has secured a temporary High Court injunction restraining an Irish-based jewellery business from selling or distributing more than €500,000 worth of jewels.

The order was obtained by World Diamond Group SPA against Shuwan Li otherwise Mooney Trading as Empress Fine Jewels and Empress Fine Jewels Limited over the defendant’s alleged refusal to return a consignment of goods to the plaintiff worth €585,000.

The court heard that the injunction has been sought after the commercial relationship between them had “entirely broken down”.

The temporary injunction, which restrains the defendants from selling, disposing or dealing with the consigned goods supplied by the plaintiff, was granted on an ex parte basis by Mr Justice David Nolan on Friday.

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Seeking the order Barney Quirke SC appearing with Hugh Byrne BL, instructed by Ellen Wrynn Harrington’s Solicitors, told the court that his client and Ms Li commenced doing business together in 2019.

Shuwan Li, it is claimed, is involved in the jewellery business, runs her business from central Dublin, and is married to a Mr Thomas Mooney.

Sometimes, WDG claims, it did business with her as Shuwan Li and at other times as Shuwan Mooney.

The second named defendant is a company linked to the first named defendant, and has a registered office at Johnson’s Court in Dublin 2.

However in recent years issues arose between the parties after, it is alleged, the defendants owed large sums to WDG for goods supplied.

Counsel said negotiations took place between the parties and arrangements to repay what was allegedly owed were put in place.

However the plaintiff claims it became concerned about the manner in which it was being repaid by the defendants.

As a result WDG informed the defendants that it was ending their commercial relationship and sought the return of various goods advanced to the Irish-based defendants.

Arising out of the alleged refusal to return a consignment supplied last year, WDG has commenced High Court proceedings against the defendants, where it seeks an injunction and an order requiring the defendants to return the goods.

It is also seeking damages, a declaration that WDG is the owner of the goods, and judgment against the defendants for a separate sum of €155,000 which it claims it is owed for other goods supplied to the defendants.

The court heard that WDG recently sought undertakings from the first named defendant including that the consignment of goods supplied would not be sold, and would be returned.

However, in reply, solicitors for the first named defendant said the deadlines set for the return of the goods was unrealistic.

The plaintiff was informed that the first named defendant would not give an undertaking not to sell or dispose of the consigned goods.

An undertaking was provided that the goods would not be altered nor interfered with.

WDG said that, arising form that response, it is concerned it will not be able to recover the goods, nor has it any confidence it will be able to retrieve the value of said goods in monetary terms.

The court also heard that the first named defendant disputes the amount of money allegedly owed to WDG.

In reply WDG said the amount of money it said is due and owing to it, as well as the return of the consignment of goods, are correct and totally reconcilable.

The matter will return before the Court next week.

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