Photo: Nazar Furyk / Zuma / TASS
The head of the state office of public Prosecutor of Ukraine has accused the distributor of tobacco products TEDIS Ukraine in tax evasion and “financing of terrorism”. According to him, the real owner is Russian billionaire Igor Kesaev
The Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuri Lutsenko said the disclosure of schemes of tax evasion and the withdrawal of the billion hryvnia, which involved a distribution company of tobacco products TEDIS Ukraine (formerly OOO “Megapolis Ukraine”). One of the owners of the company Lutsenko called Igor Kesaev, occupying 35th place in the Russian Forbes with a fortune of $2.4 billion.
Lutsenko wrote this on his page in Facebook. According to him, the searches involved about 1,000 law enforcement officers.
“Despite the ban, the national security Council and the NBU, via accounts of firms-transit countries for 2015-2017 receive 2.5 billion UAH”, — wrote Lutsenko. At the current exchange rate this amounts to $92.5 million
Lutsenko said that in the investigation participated the Department of the Prosecutor General in the sphere of economy and the Chief military Prosecutor for operational support of the National police. The funds withdrawn, said Lutsenko, were used for “financing terrorism”.
“The pretrial investigation established that from 2012 to date, the actual owner of the monopoly a distributor of tobacco products of OOO “Megapolis Ukraine” (now — TEDIS Ukraine) is including a citizen of Russia Kesaev, according to which the decision of the Council sanctions which prohibit the withdrawal of funds from Ukraine abroad,” — said Lutsenko.
In the message of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine said that the real owners of TEDIS Ukraine are “representatives of large Russian business and associates of the head of the aggressor country, which operate on the Ukrainian market without the mediation of the Ukrainian business partners.” Name Kesaeva, the Agency is not mentioned.
“In key positions in the Ukrainian company were appointed Trustees are citizens of the Russian Federation, which all major management decisions for the company coordinate with head of the Moscow bar Association, who is also a member of the Board of Directors of JSC “Zavod im. Degtyarev” <…>, which is included into group of companies “mercury”, controlled by Russian citizen in respect of whom a decree of the President of Ukraine introduced a special personal economic sanctions and other restrictive measures”, — stated in the message of the Prosecutor General.
It is also indicated that the plant. Degtyarev is “one of the suppliers of weapons to the militants of the terrorist organizations LNR and DNR, in connection with which it imposed sanctions, the national security Council”.
As previously wrote RBC, the group “Megapolis” is the largest wholesale seller of cigarettes in Russia and brings in $12 billion in revenue (2014). The company TEDIS Ukraine until may 2016 was called OOO “Trading company “Megapolis-Ukraine”.
However, the source of the tobacco market told RBC that Kesaev is not a co-owner of the business in Ukraine. According to the interlocutor of RBC in major Russian tobacco companies collaborating with the group “the Megacity” Igor Kesaev in 2014 sold its Ukrainian business. “It was a strong pressure because of all this political history, check, searches, etc. and he decided to leave the Ukrainian business. The new owner of the distribution company has retained contracts with manufacturers of cigarettes and renamed the company TEDIS that it is not associated with the former Russian owner,” — said the interlocutor of RBC.
In the group of companies “mercury”, whose principal owner is Kesaev, declined to comment.
RBC in 2015, described the business of “Metropolis”, a member of the “mercury” in the article “a Billion in the box”. “Mercury” was created as an importer of alcohol and tobacco, but over time has evolved into a diversified holding. Structure of the group in control of the “mercury development” (tower “mercury tower” in “Moscow-city”), Plant them. V. A. Degtyarev (civil and military equipment from anti-aircraft and machine guns to mopeds), Gorevsky GOK (mining and processing of lead and zinc), “Turbokholod” (equipment for the oil and gas industry). The core business of the group “mercury” are the retailer Dixy group “Megapolis”, 90% of the proceeds which constitute proceeds from the sale of tobacco products.