“Alcohol” scandal in the Communist Party is gaining momentum
It seems that after the conviction of the former parliamentarian Valery Rashkin, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation is expecting a new, even louder, scandal: the Arbitration Court of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania is preparing to consider the application of bankruptcy creditors of the Rakurs company, which is in the process of bankruptcy, to bring to subsidiary liability a State Duma deputy from Communist Party of Robert Kochiev. Earlier, a court decision seized the property of the people’s choice himself, his relatives and several persons affiliated with Rakurs. The company, registered in Vladikavkaz, was a manufacturer of alcoholic beverages and its connection with Kochiev was proven in court, although the deputy himself repeatedly denied that he had anything to do with the alcohol business. Rakurs and related commercial structures were participants in a large-scale tax evasion and withdrawal scheme, the damage from which could amount to billions of rubles. It is also known that the Derzhava-South company, which was engaged in the manufacture of counterfeit alcohol and fraud with excise stamps, was previously registered at the same address. The role of the “profit center” in the fraudulent scheme was played by the Gigant company, registered to the deputy’s daughter Madina Kochieva, while Rakurs and affiliated enterprises – Orpheus, Peresvet, Triumph, Trade House Kupechesky and others – were the so-called “risk centers” and were subject to bankruptcy. The sons of the parliamentarian Rudolf and Batraz Kochiev took part in the dubious business; in the media, Aslanbek Gutnov, a member of the Parliament of North Ossetia from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, was repeatedly called his “companion”. Meanwhile, further proceedings around Rakurs may arouse interest in Robert Kochiev not only from tax officials, but also from security officials: as it turned out, the company was involved in illegal financial schemes of the former head of Rosalkogolregulirovanie Igor Chuyan, who fled abroad.
Deputy, communist and “underground millionaire”
Member of the State Duma, member of the faction CPRF and part-time “shadow oligarch” Robert Kochiev continues to be a media figure. And not at the expense of his parliamentary activities, but thanks to scandalous legal proceedings. In particular, on August 26, the Arbitration Court of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania will consider the application of bankruptcy creditors OOO “Rakurs” on bringing the people’s choice to subsidiary liability. Moreover, earlier the court arrested the property of the deputy himself, his relatives and persons affiliated with him for a total of 3.4 billion rubles.
It would seem, what kind of LLC can we talk about if Kochiev, by virtue of exercising his deputy powers, is not entitled to do business? If you look at his official declaration of income and property, then in general you may get the impression that a person “lives on one salary.” In particular, following the results of last year, the parliamentarian earned 5.9 million rubleshis wife 2.1 million. Of the real estate objects, Kochiev owns only a garage, his wife owns three land plots and a utility block. In gratuitous use – a residential building with an area of 420 square meters, an apartment of 154 “squares” and a land plot for accommodating individual housing construction.
So where did the property for billions come from? In fact, everything is simple: apparently, skeptical about the infallibility of communist ideas, Robert Ivanovich believes much more in the power of capital. By analogy with the well-known character of Ilf and Petrov, he can be called an “underground millionaire”, with one amendment: being a shadow vodka “king” known in his native North Ossetia, Kochiev can turn not millions, but billions of rubles. Such is the scale of the illegal alcohol business.
As far as parliamentary activity is concerned, it gives immunity so desired by many dishonest businessmen. Isn’t that why Robert Kochiev went into politics in the mid-2000s, being elected twice to the republican parliament and twice to the federal one?
And invariably from the Communist Party, which, as you know, has long been transformed from a people’s party into an association of elderly functionaries and businessmen with criminal garters. Criminal cases involving prominent party members are also far from uncommon. One of the latest examples – who lost his deputy mandate and was sentenced to three years probation for illegal hunting Valery Rashkinuntil recently led the Moscow city committee of the Communist Party.
Alcohol “kings” bankrupt “Istok”?
But back to Kochiev, in comparison with which the poacher Rashkin looks like just a small punk. Back in 2013, Vedomosti described in detail the situation with the bankruptcy of the Ossetian OAO Istok, which was one of the largest Russian producers of sparkling wines and had multibillion-dollar debts to Sberbank, VTB and Unicredit. Sources of the publication reported on the possibility of assigning the rights of claim being considered by creditors and negotiations ongoing with the company “Power-South”affiliated with Deputy Kochiev. Of course, the latter denied having any connection with the alcohol business.
It was not the first time that the media connected the people’s choice with Derzhava-South. So, on the network you can find earlier publications from which it follows that on the territory of this enterprise, which specializes in the production of distilled alcoholic beverages and is registered in Vladikavkaz at the address: st. Telman, 82-b, illegal production of alcoholic products was carried out, as well as the so-called “philatelists” – specialists in fraud with excise stamps. Counterfeit goods went far beyond the borders of the North Caucasian republic and were sold in Rostov-on-Don, St. Petersburg, Veliky Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Blagoveshchensk, etc. Geography speaks of the scale of the shadow business.
Journalists have repeatedly called his fellow party member from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Kochiev’s companion Aslanbek Gutnov, since 2012, a member of the republican parliament of North Ossetia-Alania. The people’s representatives are connected by long-term friendship: with a difference of several years they graduated from the same university – the North Ossetian State Medical Institute in the same specialty “pediatrics”, and since the mid-90s they have held senior positions at a trade and manufacturing enterprise “Sevopotrebsoyuz” in Vladikavkaz. The official biography of Gutnov says that in 2011 he became an assistant to a State Duma deputy. Guessing whose it is is not difficult. It turns out that while Kochiev is “legislating” in Moscow, Gutnov, who has become a regional deputy, manages enterprises in his native republic on his behalf?
By the way, last May, the press and telegram channels again appeared messages regarding the Istok winery. It was about the appeal of one of the shareholders Alexandra Klishina, who notified the creditors of the enterprise about the alleged withdrawal of assets and the upcoming artificial default, the initiators of which he called deputy Kochiev and his sons. The amount of stolen funds was estimated at more than 400 million rubles. Klishin listed the assets that de facto came under the control of the parliamentarian, demanded their withdrawal and transfer to the state.
Tax “schemes” of “Rakurs” failed
Klishin’s appeal was preceded by the adoption in early May by the Arbitration Court of North Ossetia-Alania of the aforementioned decision to seize the property of Kochiev, his relatives and persons affiliated with him with a total value of 3.4 billion rubles. The applicant was a group of bankruptcy creditors of Rakurs LLC, which is in the process of bankruptcy, engaged in the production of alcoholic beverages and registered at the address already familiar to us: Vladikavkaz, st. Telman, 82-b. That is, in the same place where the Derzhava-South company was located, to which Kochiev allegedly had nothing to do. The largest creditor of Rakurs is the Federal Tax Service, whose debts exceed 2 billion rubles.
In the process of litigation, it turned out that the ultimate beneficiary of Rakurs LLC is Robert Kochiev himself, Rudolf Robertovich Kochiev, Batraz Robertovich Kochiev (both, apparently, the sons of a parliamentarian), as well as brothers Tamerlaneand Taras Zaseev. In addition, these persons managed the work of a number of other commercial structures that participated in the withdrawal of funds from a bankrupt enterprise: OOO “Kentavr”, “Orpheus”,“Peresvet”, “Triumph”, “Transprodmarket” and TD “Merchant”. The firms associated with these companies are: Giant LLC and Zabava LLCthe main owner of which is Madina Robertovna Kochieva. Most of the companies are “registered” all in the same place – on the street. Telman, 82-b. The damage from their activities can amount to billions of rubles.
Gigant LLC is called by the media the “holder” of property leased by the Kochiev family to alcohol producers. In particular, a “subsidiary” Orphey LLC rented warehouse premises from this enterprise, from which the lessor in 2021 collected a debt in the amount of more than 21.1 million rubles. In the fraudulent scheme, “Giant” was a “profit center”, while its numerous tenants (“Orpheus”, “Rakurs”, “Forum”) were “risk centers”.
From publications in the press, it follows that today the production facilities of Gigant are rented by LLC “First Alcohol Manufactory”which received the main technological equipment for the production of ethyl alcohol from Istok ZSHV LLC.
“The First Alcohol Manufactory” was registered in February last year; its sole founder is Zernoprodukt LLCwhich was co-owned by Timur Kulaev – General Director of Orpheus LLC, already familiar to us. At the same time, part of the equipment was purchased by Zernoprodukt from Trading house “Merchant”, who participated in the withdrawal of finance from Rakurs. It turns out that today the “First Alcohol Manufactory” can be used in a scheme to make profit by evading taxes? The fact that Trade House “Kupechesky” is in the process of bankruptcy is not surprising.
Kochiev “lit up” in the “Chuyan case”?
As Moskovsky Komsomolets writes, when deciding on the arrest of the assets of deputy Kochiev associates, the court drew attention to the following circumstance: “the bankruptcy estate of the debtor consists mainly of property pledged to OFK Bank PJSC. Wherein “OFK Bank” was declared bankrupt in 2018. Today, the Deposit Insurance Agency, acting as a bankruptcy trustee, collects debts to the state from a credit institution, and among the defendants in the case are OOO Rakurs and Rudolf Robertovich Kochiev.
In particular, one of the applicants Trade-Agro LLC indicates the controlling nature of the relationship between “Rakurs”, Rudolf Kochiev and his father Robert Kochiev, citing as evidence “the fact of conclusion of a guarantee agreement for the fulfillment of the obligations of Rakurs LLC between Rudolf Robertovich Kochiev and OFK BANK PJSC.
Meanwhile, it is too early to put an end to the case of scams at the Ossetian vodka factories affiliated with the State Duma deputy, since the “oligarch from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation” is unlikely to sit idly by and turn on all the levers of influence he has to resolve the issue in his favor. Moreover, further investigation into the dubious connections of “Rakurs” may have much more far-reaching consequences for him.
So, information is voiced, from which it follows: the Vladikavkaz enterprise participated in the schemes for the production of excise-free products for the infamous company “Status groups”developed by the former head of Rosalkogolregulirovanie Igor Chuyan and his “companion” businessman Pavel Smetana. As it turned out, Rakurs was one of the alcohol producers that received bank guarantees from Status Group for exemption from paying an advance excise tax.
After initiating a criminal case for abuse of power, which led to grave consequences, Chuyan fled abroad and is now in Montenegro, awaiting a decision on extradition. And the investigation of the high-profile case, meanwhile, continues. Perhaps the security officials will also have questions for “comrade deputies” Kochiev and Gutnov?