Mikhalchenko’s elite alcohol worth $1.1 million to be powered into sewer
In order to establish that the content of imported alcohol is authentic, the experts had to open all 5.000 smuggled bottles.
Forensic tests of collectors’ cognac and wine have been completed in the framework of billionaire Dmitry Mikhalchenko’s case on smuggling of alcohol under the guise of a sealant. Citing sources in law enforcement agencies Life reports that experts were establishing the authenticity of bottled beverages and their cost. To do this the experts had to open and check each of the 5.000 bottles. The conclusion of the examination is unequivocal – all elite alcohol turned out to be genuine.
In the spring of 2016 there were found 5 tons of foreign elite alcohol in containers detained in the sea trade port of Ust-Lug. The smuggling batch, documented as a sealant, belonged to billionaire Dmitry Mikhalchenko. As it turned out later, these were collectible wines and cognac, the cost of which was preliminarily estimated at 50 million rubles ($861 thousand).
However, it has now become clear that the cost of the collectors’ alcohol is 68 million rubles ($1.1 mln). But this is also an approximate cost, because some of the specimens detained at customs were single-piece and are sold only at auctions. For example, 1982 Chateau Lafleur wine may cost about 3.8 million rubles ($65 thousand) per bottle, and there are 4 of them. The price of red wine Chateau Lafite-Rothschild of 1959 at auctions may reach 2.5 million rubles ($43 thousand), for Cristal Brut 2002 from Louis Roederer in an exclusive six-liter bottle many connoisseurs are ready to pay out 1.1 million rubles ($19 thousand). French cognacs are slightly cheaper, but their cost also varies, for instance, Croizet Bonaparte Fine Champagne of 1906 can be bought at 250 thousand rubles a bottle and more ($4 thousand), and Armagnac Baron De Cie of 1914 is sold at a bit less than 155 thousand rubles ($2.6 thousand).
Chateau Lafite-Rothschild of 1959
Experts had to unseal each of the seized bottles and by law, despite the jaw-dropping cost, all alcohol will be eliminated – it will be poured into the sewer.
As The CrimeRussia has reported previously, on suspicion of contraband there were arrested Anatoly Kindzersky, the deputy head of Contrail Logistics North-West, Ilya Pichko, the director of Southeast Trade Company, Boris Korevsky, the deputy general director of Forum holding and businessman Dmitry Mikhalchenko, who is one of the founders and owners of Forum holding, which includes, inter alia, Ust-Luga port, Contrail Logistics North-West, Bronka port, Baltstroy construction company, as well as a number of major St. Petersburg restaurants and nightclubs, where collectible wines and cognacs were obviously supposed to be delivered.
Since early February, there has been a preventive operation of the National Police of Ukraine in cooperation with the border and migration services called ‘Migrant’. Its aim is to identify and expel thieves in law and foreign crime lords out of the country.