On 5 April 2013 employees of the State Ministry of the Interior in the North-West Federal District gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the investigating authorities in the Ministry of Interior. Among those who came to congratulate investigators there was Oleg Logunov, who was appointed Deputy Plenipotentiary Representative of the RF President in the North-West Federal District only in December 2012. A few years ago he met with the investigators over quite a different business: the Investigative Committee employees questioned him during the investigation of commodity raiding, this is when police confiscated goods from businessmen, then put on sale and kept the money. Some of the documents through which the goods were stolen from merchants were signed by Oleg Logunov, who at one time worked in the Ministry of the Interior. Rumafia disposes of protocols containing interrogation of the current president representative whose name is on the so-called Magnitsky list.
Oleg Logunov spent a significant part of his career working in the prosecutor's office of Primorsky Krai. In 2000 he was appointed head of the Prosecutor General's Office in the North-West Federal District. Soon Aleksei Anichin, classmate and good friend of Vladimir Putin, became his deputy. Logunov and Anichin became friends, and when in 2006 the latter was appointed deputy head of the Ministry of the Interior and head of the Investigative Committee of the Ministry, Logunov followed him to the Ministry. However, their roles have changed: Anichin was head of the Investigative Committee and Logunov was his subordinates. In 2009, Logunov became head of legal department at the Prosecutor's Office, from which he moved to being presidential representative in the North-West Federal District.
Detectives and investigators who worked with the general say only good things about him, which is quite rare. Despite this Logunov was involved in a series of scandals.
In 2007, Logunov personally supervised initiation of a criminal case over illegal catch of crab worth 5 billion rubles by a number of firms located in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Vladivostok, Magadan and in the city of Busan in South Korea. The shadow owner of these structures, a U.S. citizen Arkady Gontmakher, was arrested along with all his fishing vessels. Court, however, acquitted Gontmakher. His representatives, while talking to the correspondent Rumafia, pointed out a strange feature: one of the largest players in the crab market was brought down and the market quickly taken over by similar structures in Primorsky region, the same one where Logunov worked in the prosecutor's office for a long time.
Oleg Logunov takes the second, honourary so to say, place on the Magnitsky list that is a listing of Russian citizens banned from travelling to the U.S. for prosecution of the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. In the U.S. documents it says that he is "accused of masterminding the prosecution and incitement to death" of the lawyer. Logunov authorized the creation of the investigative task force working on Magnitsky case. He supported the decision to arrest the lawyer and his subsequent detention. Already working in the prosecutor's office, Logunov conducted a probe into the death of Magnitsky, and concluded that his death was "due to lack of skills and low level of health services in Russian prisons."
Logunov’s colleagues at the Investigavite Committee of the Ministry of the Interior lamented that he suffered more than anyone else on the Magnitsky list. According to them, Logunov's daughter went to college in the U.S. and now lives there, and she even owns real estate in this country.
When working in the Ministry of Interior, Oleg Logunov actively promoted the idea of legalizing the right of legislative investigation bodies to destroy the goods seized in the course of investigations. Investigative Committee drew its attention to how Logunov and his colleagues realized this right.
In 2007, officers of the Economic Security Department at the Ministry of the Interior suddenly came to inspect warehouse belonging to businessman Nikolay Kudelko and located in Moscow suburbs. This entrepreneur bought abroad coffee of well-known brands that were already packed in cans and sold it in Russia, or brought into the country coffee in bulk and packed it in Russia into cans of well-known trademarks, registered as ownership of Kudelko. Investigators found several small packages of fake coffee and on this basis seized all the goods worth $ 2 million. Employees of the Department admitted that evidence of the fake coffee was planted, but requested $ 250 thousand to return of the goods. Kudelko paid the toll, but the investigators did not return the product, requiring once more the same amount of money. He had no more money, so he then appealed to the Interior Ministry Inherent Security Department. This department requested a large sum of money to “punish” their colleagues from the Economic Security Department, but when the businessman said he had none, they took his expensive watch and his status car. However, neither was the product returned, nor were the operatives punished. Kudelko began to complain to all possible authorities. Then, with the approval of Logunov, a criminal case was initiated against the man for illegal use of trademark. And then the businessman found that his coffee was on sale, although case materials say the goods had been destroyed. Paperwork proving destruction had been signed by Oleg Logunov.
Kudelko tried to raise a scandal but was immediately arrested. Then, with the approval of Logunov, Investigative Committee at the Interior Ministry appealed to court to extend custody period for the businessman until Vidnovsky court sentenced him for counterfeiting brands of coffee ... to six years in prison. Moscow regional court reduced incarceration time two times, matching the period Kudelko had already spent in jail. When released, he began to appeal to every possible institution, demanding justice. He actually was able to ensure initiation of a case over the theft of coffee, which was listed as destroyed in case materials. It was in the framework of this investigation that in May 2011 Oleg Logunov was interrogated.
When the investigator asked Logunov to comment on Kudelko's case, he said he remembered it only vaguely. Then Logunov was shown a memo by investigator Monin on the feasibility of destroying the seized coffee which had been signed by Logunov. He was also shown the statement of the investigator about the destruction of coffee approved by Logunov as well. Suddenly the general immediately remembered the circumstances of the story. Then though out the interrogation he kept shifting the blame on his subordinates like " illegal action" by investigator Monin and his immediate "process superiors", the term which for some reason Logunov did not apply to himself.
It should be noted that after the interrogation the case over coffee theft was broken up into many separate ones. Moreover, all investigations regarding employees of the Ministry were terminated. A month ago Kudelko had a personal meeting with Aleksandr Bastrykin, the head of the RF Investigative Committee, who ordered to resume all investigations against former policemen and combine them into one case again. The case is now under investigation by the RF Investigative Committee in Moscow. It is possible that investigators would want to question Oleg Logunov once more. Unless, of course, his current office will not become an obstacle.
Thomas Gordon, especially for Rumafia.com