The Basmanny Court of Moscow ordered until February 2, 2022 to take into custody the head of the first department for the investigation of especially important cases of the Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia (ICR) in the Tomsk region, Sergei Arefiev and Vladislav Levchugov, the general director of the Lama Group of Companies, which owns the chain of stores of the Dutch brand Spar … According to the ICR, the day before in Tomsk the investigator received about 5 million rubles through the intermediary Levchugov. for the termination of a criminal case against a local company that evaded taxes. The investigator gained fame thanks to the criminal prosecution of the mayor of this city, Ivan Klein.
Due to the inadequate restrictions, the meetings of the Basmanny Court, where the petitions of the main investigation department of the TFR for the arrest of Sergei Arefiev and businessman Vladislav Levchugov were considered, were held without the participation of the public. But the press service of the court told Kommersant that the petition for the arrest of investigator Arefiev and then businessman Levchugov was considered first. In both cases, the representative of the Main Investigative Committee of the ICR demanded that the defendants be taken into custody until February 2, 2022.
At the same time, the investigator during the hearings referred to the severity of the charges brought forward. So, the Tomsk investigator Sergei Arefiev, according to the court, has already been charged under Part 6 of Art. 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (taking a bribe on an especially large scale, by a person holding a public office), the maximum punishment for which provides for 15 years in prison. In turn, businessman Vladislav Levchugov was charged under Part 4 of Art. 291.1 (mediation in giving an especially large bribe) of the Criminal Code. The sanction is from 7 to 12 years with a large fine.
Regarding the essence of the charge, the representative of the Main Investigative Committee of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation said that Sergei Arefiev was in charge of the investigation of a criminal case initiated on the fact of tax evasion by a local company (Article 199 of the Criminal Code). However, he decided not to bring the investigation to the end, but to receive a bribe from the accused for its termination.
However, he did not negotiate a bribe himself, having turned to a familiar entrepreneur – the general director of the Lama group of companies Vladislav Levchugov, who owns the Spar supermarket chain in Tomsk. It is also known about Mr. Levchugov that he is the co-owner and general director of SibAeroKraft LLC, which has built a new landing site for small aircraft in the village of Berezkino near Tomsk.
As follows from the ICR message, the entrepreneur agreed to become an intermediary, after which he informed the founder of the company in respect of which the case was being investigated that the investigator Arefiev was ready to terminate him for a fee. According to some reports, it was about 5 million rubles.
However, the founder and the executive director of the company were in no hurry to answer, so at some point Sergey Arefiev himself entered into negotiations with them, insisting on the payment of money.
As a result, he only managed to get the tax evader to file an application with the central office of the TFR, where a bribe case was initiated. When on December 2, Vladislav Levchugov, having received the indicated amount, handed the money to Sergei Arefiev, both were arrested.
Seeking their arrest, the representative of the Main Investigation Directorate of the ICR also indicated that, being at large, the accused may hide or put pressure on witnesses.
At the same time, he emphasized that Sergei Arefiev, holding an important position in the Tomsk department of the TFR, has extensive connections among law enforcement officers.
The press service of the court told Kommersant that the defendants’ lawyers insisted that preventive measures not related to arrests be chosen for their clients. The court sent both to a pre-trial detention center, where they will celebrate the New Year holidays and will stay at least until February 2. Lawyers refrained from commenting.
Colonel of Justice Arefiev gained fame in the region thanks to the criminal prosecution of Tomsk Mayor Ivan Klein, who, according to the investigation, acted in the interests of Tomskoe Pivo, for which he is accused of abuse of power and illegal business. His lawyer Marina Vikhlyantseva told Kommersant that the colonel appointed an investigation team in the mayor’s case and represented the investigation when Ivan Klein was elected a preventive measure in the form of detention.