Partners is the largest seller of vodka in Russia will lose my license

Operation “Elimination”

As can be seen from the base of the Supreme arbitration court, in the period from 14 to 21 March, the regional Directorate of Rosalkogolregulirovanija (PAP) in the North Caucasus Federal district filed with the Arbitration court of Kabardino-Balkaria five claims to distillery (LVZ). As defendants are the company OOO “Germes nick”, LLC “distillery “may”, LLC “Antares” LTD. “Atlantis” and LLC “Mineral Plus” registered in different cities of the Republic.

From posted on the website of the court on claims to “May” and “Hermes Nike” it follows that the regulator requires to cancel their licences to produce alcoholic products. In respect of the other plants of the same requirements, said the representative of RAHR Alexander Kulikov.

The licences of these manufacturers was suspended by decision of the PAP even earlier, vodka on their premises not performed since February of 2016, said Kulikov. From registry RAR license that licenses all of these plants, as well as another, Kabardian distillery “Rus-Alka”, was suspended in the period 19 February to 4 March this year. The reason for revoking the licenses of businesses was the violation of the provisions of the Federal law “On state regulation of the alcoholic market” (171-FZ): the company provided the regulator with false information about the volumes of production of alcoholic beverages, allowing them to avoid the payment of excise duty, explained Kulikov.

All five plants, whose license was under threat of cancellation, for 2015 bottled vodka for company “Status-group”, the largest in the last year the seller of vodka in Russia. Information about Bolero vodka “Status-group” was placed on the labels of the products the company released last year. According to the data of Rospatent, all these plants had a license agreement for the production of vodka brands from the portfolio of “Status-group”, including both its own brand and the brands of the state company “Rosspirtprom” and the state CLF “sojuzplodoimport”. According to information on the official website of “Status-group” company is the exclusive distributor of brands “Rosspirtprom”. The fact of the partnership was confirmed in the press service of the state company.

The first reports about the institution of criminal cases concerning heads of the enterprises of the alcohol industry Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (KBR) was introduced in September 2015. Then the Investigative Committee under the CBD informed about the initiation of criminal cases against the Directors-General of seven Kabardian distillery — “Atlantis”, “Onyx”, “Orion”, “distillery “may”, “Hermes Nike”, “Everest” and “Antares” on the case of evasion of taxes in especially large size. Then the amount is not paid by enterprises taxes were assessed by the security forces 2.2 bn In the course of further investigation, the amount was short of the budget has increased to 24 billion rubles, while the number of criminal cases up to 11, told on 16 March, the Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov at the meeting of the President with members of the government. Commenting on the progress of the investigation, he called the case part of the work for the mobilization of additional funds in the budget.

“There is no doubt that the requirements of the regulator will be satisfied in court, says the head of the legal company “Ladonin and partners” Alexey Ladonin. — In case of proven deliberate actions to fix incorrect information on production volumes of alcohol, revocation of a license occurs in 99% of cases. And given this resonance and attention of the government particular outcome to be expected”.

According to the Ministry of Finance of the CBD, the vodka is not paid the sum of 24 billion rubles is almost equal to the entire revenue side of the Republican budget: in 2015 it amounted to 27.1 billion rubles.

The absolute leader

Partner Kabardian plants “Status groups”, according to the data, based on the monitoring Nielsen, by the end of 2015 became the absolute leader on the wholesale market of vodka with a share of 18.4%. While the share of brands in the “Status group” in the retail network by the end of the year reached 23%, i.e. almost every fourth bottle of vodka, purchased in the nets, was under the brand portfolio of “Status-group”. The company specializes in the cheapest brands in the category 185-200 rubles per half-liter bottle — “Good bear”, “Kalina Krasnaya”, “Old brand” and others.

After stopping production on Kabardian factories, it became known that “Status groups” agreed on the bottling part of its vodka brands on the capacity of the largest vodka producer in Russia — the Kazan company “Tatspirtprom”. The representative of the latter confirmed this information.

Managers of several large companies in the alcohol market has expressed confidence that “Status groups” connected with billionaire Vasily Anisimov. Anisimov himself his involvement in this business has repeatedly denied. As part of the investigation “the case of the Kabardian” in the Moscow office of “Status-group” underwent investigations and seizure of documents, said sales Director of the company Sergey Popov. According to a source familiar with the investigation, charges against the management of “Status group” in the case of tax evasion Kabardian plants is presented: the company bought vodka at the plant not directly, but through the company-the strip is, therefore, a bona fide purchaser, and to prove her knowledge and interest in schemes for the evasion of excise taxes is extremely difficult.

The new partnership

According to the information on the labels of vodkas “Status-group”, apart from the five companies whose licenses may be revoked for vodka distributor released at least four plants of Kabardino-Balkaria — LLC “Rus-Alka”, LLC “Orion”, JSC “Oniks” and JSC “Everest”. The effects of their licenses are also suspended in February—March 2016, however, applications to the court for revocation of licenses has not yet been filed. According to Kulikova from RAHR, this can be done in the near future. According to the register, all of the Kabardian factories, engaged in the bottling of products for the “Status-group”, belong to different individuals with Caucasian surnames and are not related among themselves nor with the “Status-group”, nor with any known alcoholic holding.

To receive comments at representatives of Kabardian companies failed: the official site of plants are missing, the phones are registering, disconnected or don’t answer.

As follows from the data of base SPARK, in the beginning of 2016, two of these enterprises — “Onyx” and “Everest” had to re-register in the town Lagan in the Republic of Kalmykia. In addition, the “Onyx” and “Orion” are in the process of reorganization — both join the newly created Moscow companies “Maxigroup” and “Midlist” respectively.

“It’s quite common on the Russian market practice: reorganization may enable the company owners to evade the obligations before creditors and the budget, — says the head of the legal company engaged in alcoholic business, who requested anonymity. — If the reorganization does not occur, the bankruptcy of a legal entity, but all its obligations are transferred to the organization, often find themselves a dummy, decorated on some straw man”.

The Federal security service jointly with the Federal tax service began conducting operational activities in Kabardino-Balkariya and in Moscow from 16 February 2016 on behalf of President Vladimir Putin, reported the newspaper “Vedomosti” referring to two Federal officials. In the offices of several distilleries, as well as “Status groups” were seized documents, which may become the basis for excitation of criminal cases upon evasion from payment of taxes. As explained by the interlocutors of the newspaper, the Supervisory authorities discovered the scheme, launched 11 distillery in Kabardino-Balkaria in 2015. In USAIS reflected significantly large amount of excise, than in the declarations that has resulted in the growth of tax arrears. Collectively, factories in 2015 declared 23.9 billion rubles less excise than was recorded in the system of USAIS. To collect the tax could only RUB 1,871 billion Names of plants this edition is not cited; according to a source in the government, we are talking about partner “Status-group”.

In a press-service Rosalkogolregulirovanija said that control measures involving law enforcement agencies in Kabardino-Balkaria still ongoing and promised to provide additional information according to their results later.