Businessman Mikhalchenko Sentenced to 4.5 Years over Expensive Alcohol Smuggling

A Moscow court on Friday sentenced prominent businessman Dmitry Mikhalchenko to 4 years and 7 months in a minimum-security penal colony for alcohol trafficking, the Russian legal information agency reports.

The court also gave two other defendants in the case, Boris Korevsky and Alexey Mishchenko, 5 years in a penal colony and a 3-year suspended sentence, respectively.

Mikhalchenko was arrested and detained in March 2016. Investigators claimed that he had organized trafficking of alcoholic products from countries of the European Union.

According to the prosecution, in 2015 the products were bought in European shops, collected in the port of Hamburg and then smuggled into Russia. The caused damage was estimated at more than 61 million rubles (about $1 million).

Earlier this month, the prosecution asked the court to sentence Mikhalchenko, who is former CEO of Forum Holding Company, to 10 years in high-security prison and sought a 1.5-million-ruble (about $22,000) fine as a punishment for the businessman. The court at that time was also asked to sentence Korevsky to 9 years in prison and Mishchenko to 7 years.

Forum Holding Company was established in 2011 and is one of the largest multi-business companies in Saint-Petersburg.

The holding has united several dozens of the city’s enterprises and organizations. It consists of industrial enterprises, such as “Spinning Mill named after S.M. Kirov”, the oldest textile industry enterprise in Russia, and “Izmeron” factory, one of technological leaders of Russia’s downhole equipment market, according to the company’s website.