The founder of the Rolf group of companies, Sergey Petrov, was arrested in absentia and put on the international wanted list. This was reported in the press service of the Basmanny court of Moscow, which on Friday, September 6, granted the corresponding request of the investigation. The 65-year-old businessman is accused of illegally withdrawing 4 billion rubles abroad.

The Basmanny court also ruled in absentia the arrest of other defendants in this case - the former general director of Rolf Tatyana Lukovetskaya and the general director of the Cypriot company Panabel Limited, George Kafkali.

" A preventive measure was chosen in the form of detention for two months from the moment of extradition or detention in Russia, ”the court explained.

As the representative of the Investigative Committee noted during the meeting, Petrov "is hiding in Austria and has the citizenship of this country." In turn, the businessman’s lawyer Alexander Makarov doubted the possibility of his extradition to Russia.

“According to our estimates, the probability of extradition is unlikely, including due to the unreasonable nature of the charges,” TASS quoted the lawyer as saying.

Petrov himself confirmed to RBC and Interfax that he had Austrian citizenship, and noted that there were no risks for his extradition: “I will not return to the country until the criminal case is closed. Austria will not betray me as its citizen. ”

At the same time, even after the opening of the criminal proceedings, the entrepreneur noted that he did not plan to return to Russia. According to him, Lukovetskaya is also located outside the Russian Federation.

  • Founder of the Rolf Group of Companies Sergey Petrov
  • RIA News
  • © Mikhail Fomichev

As the lawyer of the ex-general director of Rolf Konstantin Teryokhin specified, Lukovetskaya is located in Spain. At the same time, the lawyer during the trial asked to refuse the investigation in absentia arrest of his client.

“We believe that the sale of shares, which became the basis for the criminal case against my client, does not constitute a corpus delicti. In addition, we believe that the investigation is requesting an absentee arrest not so that Lukovetskaya will be extradited to Russia, but so that she does not return from fear of persecution and does not provide evidence of her innocence, ”Teryokhin said.

It should be noted that Sergey Petrov created the Rolf company in 1991 and led it for 13 years, after which he resigned as president of the company, although until 2007 he was engaged in a long-term project development strategy. After two deputy terms in the State Duma in 2016, he returned to the post of chairman of the board of directors of Rolf without participating in daily operational activities.

According to the Forbes rating of the largest private companies, in 2018 Rolf became the leader in automotive retail in Russia. The dealer network of the company has 62 showrooms in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Petrov himself in 2019 took 114th place in the ranking of 200 richest businessmen in Russia with a fortune of $ 900 million.

Business chronicle

Recall that on June 27, several Rolf dealerships in St. Petersburg and Moscow, including the central office, underwent searches in connection with checking information about the illegal withdrawal of funds abroad. The press service of the company then indicated that the events held do not relate to the operating activities of the car dealer.

On the same day, the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case under article 193.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Conducting currency transactions to transfer funds in foreign currency or the currency of the Russian Federation to accounts of non-residents using forged documents”) against the founder, actual owner and head of the Rolf group of companies Sergey Petrov, as well as a member of the board of directors of Rolf Anatoly Kairo, general director of the Cypriot company Panabel Limited, Georgy Kafkaliya and Tatyana Lukovetskaya, who previously held the post of general director of Rolf. The sanction under this article provides from five to ten years in prison and a fine of up to 1 million rubles.

According to the investigation, in 2014 Petrov transferred to the accounts of the Cypriot company Panabel Limited controlled by him money received from the commercial activities of Rolf. The Rolf Estate company, whose actual owner is also Petrov, was also involved in the scheme. “Rolf” and “Panabel Limited” have prepared a fake agreement on the sale of shares of the company “Rolf Estate” at an inflated value of 4 billion rubles. Subsequently, funds through the Moscow-controlled bank of Petrov and foreign organizations came into his circulation, explained in the UK.

“According to this assessment, Rolf bought back the shares of Rolf Estate from its parent company Panabel. The investigation has questions about the amount of this transaction: they believe that the amount is overpriced, although we have an independent assessment. We will defend our position within the framework of the law by presenting the evidence that we have, an independent assessment of Rolf Estate, ”explained RBC Pavel Nosov, PR Head of the Rolf Group of Companies.

We add that on June 28 Anatoly Cairo was detained after interrogation. By the decision of the capital's Basmanny court, he was placed under house arrest (a man is forbidden to communicate with other persons involved in the case and take walks), the term of the preventive measure expires on November 25.