A new criminal case connected with forgery, brought against the Swedish company IKEA in Russia under part 4 of article 159 of the criminal code (fraud in especially large size), reports “Kommersant” with reference to its sources. The lawyer of the company Alexander Khokhlov told the publication that, in his opinion, this case is brought unreasonably.
The company maintains a longstanding dispute with JSC “Collective farm (PCB) “Khimki” over ownership of a plot of land in 16 hectares, located near the IKEA hypermarket on the Leningrad highway. In the framework of the dispute already brought one criminal case of fraud with the company’s acquisition of the land.
The reason for the second case, according to sources of the newspaper, was the forgery of member signatures of the management Board of the PCB, of what became known by results of examination. The investigation revealed that close to IKEA person, “with intent to steal another’s property, tampering with the extract from the minutes of the meeting “Khimki” on August 23, 1993″. By this decision, the management of the enterprise allegedly agreed to provide the administration of the Khimki district land area of over 16 hectares in the district of the 23rd km of the Leningrad highway “for use for state and public needs”.
The sources said that the investigation is trying to establish involvement in this Scam as individual representatives of the Russian subsidiary of the Swedish company, and the then heads of the administration of Khimki.
As a result of these operations, the unidentified person from among interested persons IKEA 3 June 2011 bought the disputed land from the administration of Khimki. The official price of the transaction amounted to RUB 105 million, while the market value of the land, according to law enforcement, may be at least RUB 1 billion, said sources.
The lawyer of the company Alexander Khokhlov IKEA told the publication that he was aware of the new criminal case. “I think that brought it unduly. Regarding carried out examinations, allegedly established the fact of falsification of the document, I don’t know”, he said.
In the summer of 2014 IKEA became involved in the first criminal case of fraud with the company’s acquisition of the land on which it is built “Khimki Business Park”.
Litigation over land in Khimki lasts for more than 20 years. In 1991 the Khimki city Council of people’s deputies decided to transfer the ownership of PSC “Khimki” an area of 1.56 ha. In 1993 the administration of the Khimki district PSC “Khimki” have lost ownership of this land — 20,88 ha that was handed down to IKEA in rent for 49 years. In 2007 the company began construction of a business centre on the property, and later bought the land.
However, in 2012, JSC “SPC “Khimki” have won at the Moscow regional arbitration the claim about the right to this land, an appeals court reversed that decision, after which began a new round of litigation, the case was several times considered in the courts of various instances.