Police raid Moscow tax service office, home of deputy head

Police on Wednesday raided the office of the Moscow Administration of the Federal Tax Service and the home of its deputy head as part of an investigation into the attempted theft of $70.7 million by a St. Petersburg firm, a police source said.

The case also involves ten incidences of theft committed by the firm ES – Kontraktstroi – under the guise of VAT refunds, the source said.

“From 9 a.m. raids have been continuing in the office of the Moscow administration of the Federal Tax Service…, and in the building of [Moscow’s] tax inspection number 28 ….Moreover, the home of deputy head of Moscow’s Administration of the Federal Tax Service Olga Chernichuk was also raided,” the source said.

ES-Kotraktstroi is related to Vyborgskaya Tseluloza, a small pulp and paper mill in Leningrad region. “We raided Vyborgskaya Tseluloza too,” the source said.

Three senior officials from the Moscow’s tax inspection 28 resigned in January 2011 amid pressure from Chernichuk, the source added.

Seven of the employees of the tax inspectorate, located in southwestern Moscow, figure in the list of 60 officials who are banned from entry to EU and the United states over the Sergei Magnitsky case.

Magnitsky, who was defending British investment company Hermitage Capital Management against tax evasion charges, died in 2009 in a Moscow pretrial detention facility after being refused medical treatment for pancreatitis.

In November, the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee voted unanimously to ban entry to the EU for 60 officials allegedly linked to Magnitsky’s death.

MOSCOW, April 6 (RIA Novosti) 

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