Head of trade network Lakmin convicted for attempted murder of competitor  

Head of trade network Lakmin convicted for attempted murder of competitor
Valery Bokatuev (to the right)

The businessman was sentenced to 8.5 years in a penal colony.

The Pervomaisky Court of the Kirov Region delivered its verdict in the case of the CEO of Lakmin shops network Valery Bokatuev, who tried to organize the murder of his rival, the owner of Spar Central Region LLC Anton Belobragin, Kommersant writes. The businessman was sentenced to 8.5 years of strict regime colony. The defense is planning to appeal the verdict, arguing that its client had been framed.

In the summer of 2015, Valery Bokatuev addressed his subordinate, the director of the company's integrated security department Alexander Batov with the requirement to find a hitman to kill Belobragin. Lakmin’s owner promised to allocate 3 million rubles for the murder of the competitor. According to the investigators, the motive for the crime was the commercial conflict between the entrepreneurs (namely, the struggle for market in the Tula and Moscow Regions), as well as personal animosity. Spar had 48 grocery stores, whereas Lakmin had only 39. The investigators also learned that several Bokatuev’s subordinates went to work for Belobragin, which further increased the tension between them.

In search of a hitman, Batov turned to his friend in Kirov. The latter agreed, but immediately reported everything to the police. Since then, the situation was controlled by the police. In subsequent meetings with the customer, the intermediary received about 250 thousand rubles as an advance payment. One of the operatives of the Kirov Region was introduced to the contractors as the hitman. Bokatuev promised to increase the fee to 4 million rubles, if the murder went according to his plan, namely, if it looked like a kidnapping. On February 9, the MIA staged Belobragin’s kidnapping and published an official statement about the businessman’s car found with traces of blood. In order to support the cover story, the Investigative Committee’s Investigative Directorate for the Tula Region initiated a criminal case under Art. 126 of the Criminal Code (Kidnapping). Shortly afterwards, on February 11 and 12, Bokatuev and Batov were detained as the customers of the crime.

Batov signed the plea agreement and revealed all the details of the preparation of the murder, whereupon he was sentenced to 4.5 years of colony. Bokatuev did not admit his guilt. The businessman's lawyers intend to appeal the sentence at a higher court. According to the businessman’s colleagues, thus, the Lakmin network’s competitors have removed him from the market.

Video: Lakmin owner’s arrest for hiring a killer to murder Anton Belobragin

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