Far Eastern Ombudswoman's apartments searched over unlicensed sale of alcohol
The husband of Oksana Stepanova, the Ombudswoman for the rights of entrepreneurs of the Amur region, owns a cafe allegedly selling alcohol illegally.
The Blagoveshchensk apartment of Oksana Stepanova, the business Ombudswoman of the Amur region, was searched on a case over selling alcohol without a license (Article 171.3 of the Criminal Code), Amur.info reports with reference to the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The siloviki came to Stepanova's private house around noon on July 19. According to the sources of the publication, the husband of the commissioner for the rights of entrepreneurs owns a cafe which illegally sold alcohol. In June, the institution faced the audit, which Stepanova called illegal.
Later, the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Amur region published a report on the initiation of a criminal case under Art. 171.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and search. The reason for this was the results of the audit, which revealed "the facts of selling alcohol in two catering establishments in the town of Svobodny and Tsiolkovsky." Alcohol in these institutions was sold without a license.
Member of the expert council of entrepreneurs of the region Irina Razina told Amur.Info that lawyer Konstantin Bogdaev and she were met by masked security officials who refused to let them in. In the end, the lawyer managed to get to Stepanova. Bogdaev took pictures of what was happening in the house. The moment how employees in civilian clothes are studying documents hit the footage.
Razina called what it "the revenge for the protection of local entrepreneurs." According to her, the investigative actions against Stepanova began after she promised, together with Razina, to report to Moscow all the facts of law enforcement agencies' illegal activity against businessmen of the Amur region.
Initially, the defendants in the case had been charged with embezzlement through swindling in the amount of 225 million rubles ($3.3 million). In the final version of the indictment, the article was changed to 1.5-billion-ruble ($22.45 million) embezzlement.