Defendants in Dmitry Mikhalchenko case face new charges
According to the lawyer of Forum Holding Security Chief Boris Korevsky, his client has been slandered.
The Investigative Committee has instituted new criminal proceedings against defendants in the case of smuggling of elite alcohol, with Head of the St. Petersburg Forum Holding Dmitry Mikhalchenko as its prime suspect. The holding’s Security Chief Boris Korevsky is now suspected of Swindling (Art. 159 of the Russian Criminal Code), whereas co-owner of Contrail Logistic Severo-Zapad Anatoly Kindzersky is suspected of Attempted Bribe-Giving (Art. 30 and 291) when trying to release the cargo seized at customs.
As Kommersant reports, the investigators believe that in early 2016, there were detained two cars with elite alcohol at the customs. To solve the problem with the customs, businessman Kindzersky contacted Boris Korevsky. The latter allegedly promised him to help with the release of goods, for which he asked 40 thousand dollars. The businessman told about this situation to his wife and the driver, who carried the money to Korevsky.
As for the new charges, Boris Korevsky denies the very fact of the events described. His lawyer suggests that Anatoly Kindzersky has slandered him.
According to Dmitry Mikhalchenko’s lawyer, his client is not involved in the new episode of bribery. At the same time, according to some sources, the prosecution of Kindzersky has been discontinued because he had revealed the crime story to the investigation. Previously, he had already made a plea deal and gave a detailed testimony against other members of the smuggling case. For this, in September 2016, he was released from a pre-trial detention facility and sent under house arrest. In case with the bribery, the charges against Kindzersky could have been dropped either in connection with the active contribution to solving the case or investigation of the crime, or due to the voluntary disclosure of the bribery to law enforcement agencies, Kommersant suggests.
Earlier, General Director of Yugo-Vostochnaya Torgovaya Kompaniya Ilya Pichko was released on bail from the detention facility. There are only Dmitry Mikhalchenko and Boris Korevsky left in the remand center. All four defendants in the case were arrested in March 2016 as part of the criminal case initiated by the ICR under Art. 200.2 of the Russian Criminal Code (Smuggling of alcoholic beverages). According to investigation, starting from 2015, the defendants have been involved in smuggling of elite alcohol, the cost per bottle of which could reach 50 thousand rubles (860 dollars). To date, the examination of alcohol seized as part of the investigation (about 5 thousand bottles) is not finished yet. The law enforcers believe that General Director of the St. Petersburg Forum Mikhalchenko is behind the smuggling of the expensive wines and other premium beverages. In 2015, the bottles were bought in European shops, collected in the port of Hamburg, and then shipped to Russia in containers under the guise of sealant.
In July 2016, officers of the FSB Internal Security Department and the Investigative Committee raided Head of the Federal Customs Service Andrey Belyaninov, although no charges were brought against him. However, soon he was removed from his post.