According to Kommersant, in Monaco, the Moscow head of customs brokerage OOO BAT-TSV, put on an international wanted list, Jacob Ardashnikov has been detained . He is considered one of the key figures in the case on the cell phones smuggling as well as of Euroset in 2005. According to investigators, handsets for at least half a billion rubles had been smuggled through a brokerage firm of Ardashnikov in Russia. The request for his extradition will be considered on August, 31. According to security officials, the extradition of Jacob Ardashnikov may significantly speed up the investigation of the smuggling. According to the defense of Evgeny Chichvarkin, who is a witness in this case, there has been no new investigation made against the businessman in the framwork of the "smuggling" investigation.
The head of OOO BAT-TSV, Jacob Ardashnikov was arrested on August, 12. The fact of his detention was confirmed by the press service of the Government of Monaco. "During the audit of hotels in the Principality of Monaco, Mr. Ardashnikov, having been issued an international arrest warrant demanding his extradition, was arrested by police on August, 12, 2010 and was immediately rushed to the deputy prosecutor. At the moment the Ardashnikov's case is handled by the Ministry of Justice Monaco», the press-service stated. Monegasque law enforcement authorities have already notified the Prosecutor General's Office of RF about the detention. They also confirmed that the Russian had been detained. According to Kommersant, the Russian supervisory agency is now urgently preparing materials for extradition. By the laws of Monaco, an extradition request should be considered no later than 20 days after the arrest - the first court hearing in the case of Jacob Ardashnikova is scheduled for August, 31.
Jacob Ardashnikov is considered one of the key figures in the profiled case of smuggling, which was instituted by investigative committee at the Interior Ministry in August 2005 (later it was transferred to the investigative committee of the Procuracy of the RF). As Kommersant has repeatedly reported, then several trucks carrying contraband phones were stopped when leaving the freight terminal of the Sheremetyevo Airport; as then declared the Interior Ministry, they came through the intermediary firms to be sold in the Euroset, Betalink and Dixis salons. After that, detectives and investigators held a large-scale inventory of the phones in warehouses and seized about 300 tons of packages with the new handsets totaling to $ 10 million.
Several months after the initiation of the case the investigation studied the documents seized, came to the conclusion that a significant proportion of smuggled handsets came to Russia through OOO BAT-TSV. This company was incorporated in Khimki near Moscow, according to documents it was engaged in warehousing, but in practice it exercised the functions of the customs broker.
In April 2006, in the suburb of Moscow deputy general director of OOO BAT-TSV Valery Krasovsky was detained in his own country house. He was charged under Part 4 of Art. 188 of the Criminal Code ( a large scaleв smuggling committed by a group of persons).
Founder and CEO of the company Jacob Ardashnikov (among his colleagues he was known by the foreign car he had been driving with the name of Yasha on license plate) and the other deputy, a citizen of Ukraine, Alexander Krichfalushiy disappeared and was put on an international wanted list. Then the Russian intelligence services reported that, according to their data, the broker Ardashnikov had moved to Israel.
In April, Alexander Krichfalushiy unexpectedly appeared in Moscow and came to investigators for questioning. He was also charged with smuggling, the fugitive was arrested. Later, both former deputies director general of OOO BAT-TSV were released and now have signed a recognizance.
Meanwhile, several former Sheremetyev customs officers were convicted in Moscow, they were accused of complicity in the smuggling of mobile phones. Last year, the Golovinsky Court in Moscow sentenced former deputy chief of Sheremetyevo customs, Valery Kuzmin to nine years in prison and heavy fines. As mentioned in the file, Colonel customs broker was accused of aiding Jacob Ardashnikovu who in 2005 smuggled into Russia mobile phones within a few months, including those for Euroset, totaling to more than half a billion rubles. Incidentally, as it was said in the case file against Valery Kuzmin, the investigation had installed over a dozen companies designed for front persons (including CC "Senator", "Eromark-Inter", "Marco-Market", "Stroydvor", and «StroyKomplekt» ), through which, according to investigators, the supply of handsets was processed; those were declared in the customs declarations as exhibition stands, paper bags for promotional items, stacked shelves, racks, etc. Thus, according to the sentence, in one case OOO «Eromark-Inter", established by Mr. Ardashnikovym, imported 3.9 tons of contraband phones, drawing them as steel stands. Another company owned by him - OOO "Marco-Market" - imported mobile phones weighing 3.6 tons under the guise of stands, according to the investigation.
After passing the sentence upon the customs officer, Counsel Marat Faizulin being a representative of the interests of "Euroset" in the case of smuggling, said to Kommersant that he considers condemnation of Valery Kuzmin a "ploy made by investigation, due to which now it has a formal right to invoke it without proving the fact of smuggling" . Yesterday, Mr.Faizulin told Kommersant that he was not aware of the detention of James Ardashnikov, and as far as he knows, there is no actual investigation of the case of smuggling in recent times.
According to Kommersant, the law enforcement bodies seriously hope that in case the broker Ardashnikov is extradited, there will be an opportunity to file criminal charges against the main organizers of the smuggling of mobile phones (so far the only top manager who supposedly had been a recipient of mobile phones, currently involved in the case of smuggling is the executive Director of the Euroset wholesale Alexey Shirokov). Law enforcement agents do not announce any names. Meanwhile, the lawyer of former co-owner of Euroset Evgeny Chichvarkin, Yuri Gervis told Kommersant yesterday that in the case of smuggling (Mr. Chichvarkin is a witness in that case), no new investigations have been held against his client.