"Crab King" Oleg Kan fled from Russia

After the resumption of criminal prosecution, the businessman left the country.
Origin source
On February 5, 2020, the Khabarovsk Regional Court granted the petition of the investigation for the detention of the Sakhalin businessman Oleg Kan, known as the “crab king” and who was one of the largest crab producers in Russia. The decision of the trial court, which refused the arrest, was canceled. About this "Vedomosti" said the assistant judge Vitaly Shilovsky. Kahn’s lawyer Valery Folomkin did not comment on the decision, because he had not yet seen his motivation.

The Investigative Committee sought the arrest of the businessman: he considers Kan to be the organizer of the murder of businessman Valery Pkhidenko. The Investigative Committee did not answer questions.

Essence of the matter

Pkhidenko was killed in Vladivostok in 2010, according to investigators. Kang was charged with organizing the murder and put on the wanted list. However, the investigative authorities of the Sakhalin Oblast eventually stopped the criminal prosecution. At the end of 2018, the chairman of the Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, instructed to verify the legality of the previous decisions. Bastrykin’s order was given after several investigations into the crab business in Russia were launched on several federal television channels. They spoke about the smuggling of the Russian crab abroad, which Kan's companies allegedly engaged in. Soon searches were going on in his companies.

Pkhidenko also engaged in fishing. A person familiar with the materials of the investigation in the case against Kahn recalls that there was an attempt on Kahn himself in 2005. According to investigators, Pkhidenko told his friend Dmitry Polyakov that he had organized an attempt on Kan.

The representative of the FSB Directorate of the Sakhalin Region, as Vesti reported, talked about some information that since the beginning of the 2000s. in the Far Eastern Federal District, an organized group of smugglers operates in the crab market. According to him, the supply contracts were concluded, inter alia, between the Sakhalin company Moneron (founded by Kan, now owned by his associate Dmitry Pashov) and a company from Panama. The cost of the crab, according to this information, was underestimated in order to reduce customs payments. The murder of Pkhidenko was also mentioned there.

Now the investigation has returned to the version that Kan was the organizer of the murder of Pkhidenko - he was again brought in as an accused, put on the federal wanted list, the UK reported in January. After an absentee arrest, he will be put on the international wanted list, promised the UK.

At the end of 2018, Kan left Russia. Vedomosti was unable to contact him.

When the investigation has evidence that the accused is outside Russia, this is the basis for declaring him internationally wanted, said Daria Shulgina, partner of the ZKS law office. Just for this, a preventive measure in the form of detention in custody is chosen in absentia - this will make it possible to put a person on the international wanted list through Interpol.

The authorities of the country where the wanted person will be detained will consider the request of the Russian side to extradite this person, describes Shulgin's procedure. The local court will decide whether there is a reason for extradition: it may be refused.

Kahn's story

Kahn was born in Nevelsk, Sakhalin Oblast in 1967. In 1992, he graduated from the Far Eastern Technical Institute of the Fishing Industry and Economy with a degree in industrial engineering, according to his biography on the website of the industry publication Fishnews.

Then Kahn worked on the ships of the Nevelskaya base of the trawl fleet, after - as a foreman in a local fishing company. He met crab prey by joining the Wakkanai Russian-Japanese company, which owned quotas for prey and supplied crab mainly to Japan. From 1995 to 2009, he led this company, according to Fishnews. In Russia, Kahn was then one of the main specialists in crab, his acquaintance shares his memories. It was the Japanese customers of the company who nicknamed him “the crab king,” and later they began to call him that in Russia, he says.

In the 2000s Kahn founded his own crab business, buying companies with crab quotas throughout the Far East, and actively participating in government auctions.

Over the past few years, Kang himself has no longer been involved in the crab business, says a friend of his. The companies founded by Kan were owned and managed by his close ally and deputy of the Sakhalin Regional Duma, Dmitry Pashov and Kan's son Alexander. Since 2016, Kan Sr. has been the head of the board of trustees of the Rodny Ostrov regional charity foundation, and since May 2018, he has been an adviser to the CEO of the Primorsky Fishing Company, Fishnews said.

In 2018, companies connected with Kan became the largest crab producers in the Far East, having mined about 17,000 tons, or about 17% of the country's production, two friends of the businessman told Vedomosti earlier. The main market for Russian crab is South Korea, China and Japan.

Redistribution of the crab market

At the end of 2017, reform began in the crab market. Gleb Frank, the owner of the Russian fishing company and son-in-law of billionaire Gennady Timchenko, was called the initiator of the fishing industry. Company representatives have repeatedly denied this.

As a result, at auctions in October 2019, the state sold about half of the quotas for 142 billion rubles. Franky Russky Crab became a major buyer - after its auctions, it estimated its share in this market at 15% (about 13,000 tons).

The KUK companies founded by Kahn (until mid-November 2019 it was owned by Alexander Kahn) and Moneron did not participate in auctions in 2019. KUK's revenue for 2018 amounted to 6 billion rubles, net profit - 5.7 billion rubles, according to SPARK-Interfax. Moneron’s revenue for the same period is 6.5 billion rubles, net profit is 5 billion rubles. These companies retained the right to harvest about 9,000 tons of crab per year, while remaining large crab producers, a person close to them said.