Former deputy and smuggler Vladimir Hmel is detained in Spain for tax fraud

In Spain, a former deputy of the Primorsky Legislative Assembly fled in 2008 after an open criminal case on smuggling goods from China and South Korea in Russia worth 2.3 billion rubles.
Vladimir Khmel, former deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Primorye, was detained in Spain on suspicion of tax fraud of € 17 million. The investigation believes that he laundered money "of illegal origin" by investing in real estate and tourism in the Canary Islands. Earlier, the name of Mr. Khmel was mentioned during the investigation of large-scale shipments of smuggling to Russia: the businessman was a business partner of another seaside deputy, Gennady Lysak, and ex-senator Igor Ivanov, whom the investigation considered as organizers of channels for the illegal import of goods from China and South Korea.

The newspaper El Confidencial reported that Vladimir Khmel, ex-deputy of the Primorye parliament, was detained in Spain. According to the publication, the arrest was made last summer, but the operation was secret and had not been mentioned before. The tax service of Spain suspects Vladimir Hmel in fraud of € 17 million. It is assumed that he could use the network of enterprises to launder money of illicit origin through investments in real estate and travel companies in the Canary Islands.

The newspaper specifies that the investigation also detained the director of one of the offices of Bank Popular, which cooperated with the entrepreneur, moving his funds both inside and outside of Spain. When the ex-deputy realized that an investigation is under way against him, he tried to transfer his investments to France, where he often traveled.

According to the publication, Vladimir Khmel invested in the Spanish economy since 2009. He invested in land, real estate, opened several tourist enterprises in Tenerife.

One of the companies of Vladimir Khmel specialized in organizing events such as walks on expensive yachts, helicopter flights and so on. As a result, the activities of the entrepreneur attracted the attention of the law enforcement agencies of the kingdom.

64-year-old Vladimir Hmel was a deputy of the legislative assembly of Primorye in 2002-2006. However, in the province he is better known as an entrepreneur specializing in foreign economic activity. According to the website of the regional parliament, Vladimir Khmel headed the LLP "Trade House Kommersant", was the commercial director of the PKP "Alt", deputy general director for foreign economic activities LLC "Rostek-DV-service", director of LLC Arsenievstroytrans. In July 2004 he was elected president of the Union of Road Transporters of Primorsky Krai.

Vladimir Khmel was considered a business partner of ex-senator from Primorye Igor Ivanov and another deputy of the Legislative Assembly - Gennady Lysak. The latter were accused of large-scale smuggling of goods from China and South Korea to Russia. According to the investigation, from 2002 to 2007, the organized criminal community (FSO), which included more than three dozen people, illegally transported consumer goods in Russia for more than 2.3 billion rubles.

The law enforcement authorities considered Igor Ivanov, Gennady Lysak, the head of Rostek-DV-Service LLC Denis Pavlov as the leaders of the OPS. Fearing criminal prosecution, Gennady Lysak, Igor Ivanov and Denis Pavlov left the territory of Russia, Vladimir Khmel entered the same way.

In 2010, Primorsky Kraysud began to examine the materials of the criminal case against the traffickers, but only its secondary members were on the dock. However, within two years the criminal prosecution against them was terminated. This happened after the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation was amended and Art. 188 ("Smuggling") became invalid. Today, in the management of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for Primorye, Kommersant reported that Vladimir Khmel was not wanted and was not accused of any criminal cases.