The two-year operation
Thursday, may 12, TCF announced the apprehension of smuggled goods in “non-residential premises in the center of Moscow”. Customs officers seized 2225 items weighing 17 kg, mainly hours luxury brands Ulysse Nardin, Rolex etc. owned by an unnamed customs commercial firm, a spokesman Alexander Smelyakov.
“According to research by our colleagues from the laboratory, the total cost amounted to 215 583 12 000 rubles”, — said Smelyakov, noting that this party became the largest in the history of the Russian customs service.
The operation to identify the illicit channel of deliveries to Russia of luxury watches and jewelry was conducted in 2014, he said. In the development of the customs authorities was unnamed officials of the FCS, the man who, according to operative data, was engaged in transportation of contraband goods into Russia. The last case of smuggling their contraband was recorded in April of 2016, when he smuggled in hand Luggage the next batch of goods, having carried him through the green channel of the airport Sheremetyevo.
On the fact of smuggling instituted 44 criminal cases under article about the evasion of customs duties and 12 Affairs about administrative offences, said the representative of the FCS. “The structure, which belong to these luxuries, presented the documents, allegedly confirming the fact of performing customs operations with these goods. However, according to the results of the investigation, which was conducted in collaboration with the customs authorities of Italy and the Baltic States, it became clear that these goods are contraband,” says Smelyakov.
CEO specializing in luxury Swiss watches of Lombard Watchmaker.Ru” Dmitry Krylov explained that even the largest importers of luxury watches hard to pay fees: the total amount can reach almost half of the purchase price. Watches made using precious stones and metals, when crossing the border are treated as jewelry and are subject to customs duties of 20% of the purchase price. Together with VAT and registration the cost of customs clearance may reach 41% of the price calculated Krylov.
This is not the first case of seizure of a large consignment of smuggled luxury watches in Moscow. At the end of September 2014, the staff of FCS seized in store TSUM (owned by Mercury) smuggled watches and jewelry totaling more than 574 million rubles.
Were taken watch brand Greubel Forsey cost from 23 million to 39 million rubles., watches Harry Winston, Chopard and Patek Philippe limited edition release value from 16 million to 50 million RUB over each piece. Auditors any claim to 15 watches. Also seized Graff jewelry: rings, earrings and necklaces cost from 4 million to 23 million rubles for the product.
To Mercury was confirmed that the importer hours of these brands is the company itself.
In a press-service of the FCS was then informed that in fact storage of the goods illegally moved across the customs border, in respect of which have not been paid customs duties and taxes, criminal case concerning an administrative offense under article 16.21 administrative code (provides for fines for legal entities in the amount from 50 to 200% of the value of goods confiscation or without it), raised the question on excitation of criminal case according to article 194 of the criminal code (evasion from payment of customs payments).
No further reports of sanctions against Mercury were reported.
Until the end of the investigation, the customs officers do not want to disclose the company name and the names of its owners.
According to Smelyakova, against the company, which has seized a record amount of hours, has previously initiated administrative proceedings. “The company was found guilty in committing of administrative offences and punish them in the form of confiscation of nine watches worth more than 290 million rubles of consumer goods worth more than 60 million rubles”, — he said. According to him, the organization tried to appeal the decision of the Tagansky district court in Moscow city court, but unsuccessfully — it entered into force in March 2016. Other information about this company he refused to tell.
Base decisions of arbitration courts found the case, the circumstances of which largely coincide with the description Smelyakova. Registered in Moscow, OOO “grace” in September 2015, has addressed in arbitration court of Moscow demanding to invalidate the decision of the Central excise customs the seizure of the goods, but the court decided the case not in favor of the plaintiff. The materials of the case also mentions that on 14 March 2016, the appeal instance of the Moscow city court also refused, OOO in challenging the decision of Tagansky court.
The representative of FCS stressed that he could neither confirm nor deny whether OOO “grace” that the company, in the office, who was seized hours.
According to SPARK, the General Director of OOO “grace” and its sole founder is Elena Saltykova. She also heads the post of General Director of OOO “Resonance”, which founders in equal shares provided Afonichev Sergei and Sergei Sedov.
Three sources operating in the market of luxury goods, called Afonicheva one of the largest sellers of luxury watches in Moscow. Thus in contrast to well-known dealers in the Suite, such as Mercury and JamilCo”, Afonichev worked on the principle of a private club. “He had a small mansion near the Smolenskaya embankment without any signs where you come to buy a watch and jewelry the wealthiest people in the country,” he said on condition of anonymity, the owner of shop of elite hours. — Got there on the recommendation.
In “grace” did not comment on the situation. According to the employee who answered the phone at the phone number listed in SPARK is that the CEO appears in the office are extremely rare. Contact Saponaceum or Sedov has not yet succeeded.
What is known about Sergei Afonicheva
“He was a real China market, luxury, with vast connections, seemed to be absolutely unsinkable. Every last one of you were sure that he will be able to handle the situation with claims of custom,” — said the owner of a small watch boutique in Moscow.
He bought the watch even businessmen from the Russian Forbes list, says a former assistant of one of such businessmen. “Besides, he always had a huge range, including rare watches from restricted parties, and Afonichev had a talent for sales — any visitor to his mansion didn’t come out without buying,” says the source .
“Afonichev was certainly a talented guy and a very skilled trader”, — said Vladimir Voronchenko, Chairman of the Board of the cultural-historical Fund Viktor Vekselberg “Link of times”.
According to SPARK, Afonichev worked in sales of luxury watches since at least 2004: he was a co-founder of OOO “Harry Winston CIS — Russian distributor of luxury American watch brand Harry Winston. In 2008 the company was liquidated.