The Basmanny District Court of Moscow has arrested Vladislav Levchugov, co-owner of a large SPAR supermarket chain, general director of the Tomsk group of companies Lama LLC. He is being held in a criminal case on bribing an investigator from the Tomsk region, Sergei Arefiev.
Levchugov is charged with part 4 of Art. 291.1 (mediation in bribery) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. He was taken into custody until February 2, 2022. “The petitions of the defense to choose a preventive measure not related to detention in respect of Levchugov were denied,” – said TASS representative of the court.
Earlier, the same Basmanny court arrested investigator Sergei Arefiev.
According to the prosecution, the investigation department headed by Arefyev was in charge of a criminal case on tax evasion by the management of one of the local companies. Arefiev himself met with the executive director of the company and demanded that a bribe be transferred to him on an especially large scale. The founder of a commercial organization appealed to law enforcement agencies. Further negotiations took place under the supervision of operatives, who on December 2 detained first Levchugov in Novosibirsk, and then Arefiev.
A criminal case was opened against the investigator under Part 6 of Art. 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (taking a bribe on an especially large scale). He faces 15 years imprisonment. An especially large amount of a bribe is considered to be over 1 million rubles.
The investigator who became involved in the case has worked in the Tomsk department of the RF IC since its formation in 2007. Prior to that, he held the position of prosecutor of the department for supervision of the investigation, inquiry and operational-search activities of the regional prosecutor’s office. In 2007, Arefiev became the head of the procedural control of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in the Tomsk region, and later took the position of head of the first department for the investigation of especially important cases.
The Lama trade and production group owns the Abrikos supermarkets, several shopping centers (including the largest Tomsk shopping and entertainment center Emerald City) and manufacturing enterprises, and also develops the network of the Dutch Spar brand in Tomsk (since March 2013) and Novosibirsk (from April 2021). Lama is a member of the Federal Alliance of Regional Retailers (APP, the Good Choice franchise network), which is headed by Vladislav Levchugov. The revenue of “Lama” in 2020, according to the RDA, amounted to 16.9 billion rubles.
Levchugov also has a stake in a non-trading company “Sibaerokraft”, the main activity of which is “the production of aircraft, including space, and related equipment”, informs NGS.
Apart from Levchugov, who in 2005-2010 was also a deputy of the Tomsk City Duma, all other co-owners of Lama’s enterprises are completely non-public people.