The Federal Tax Service (FTS), jointly with the Federal Security Service (FSB), conducted searches in the network of Krasnaya caviar stores in Moscow, as well as in organizations affiliated with the company, which are located in the Primorsky Territory and on Sakhalin. Claims to the activities of "Red Caviar" relate to both tax evasion and possible participation in suspicious financial transactions.
The tax authorities and the Federal Security Service have not officially commented on their interest in the Red Caviar retail chain. The media, citing sources, put forward a version that, for example, in the Krasnaya Caviar chain of stores do not accept plastic cards, although it is possible to pay for purchases by bank transfer from almost any seller on the market today.
In addition, the tax authorities, apparently, could consider the device of the fish business itself to be suspicious. The “Red Caviar” network consists of several legal entities applying the patent taxation system - PSN (an independent tax regime for individual entrepreneurs who themselves are legally entitled to set a potential income, from which the fixed tax rate is paid (6%). We cannot exclude the fact that 90% of taxes in this way could be withheld from the state.
The media refer to the Telegram-channel “Media-Technologist” in which it is stated that the company did not shy away from gray schemes. Through affiliated persons, they allegedly bought caviar from the trawlers on Sakhalin for even before the time when the fishing vessels set sail. Thus, product purchasing channels did not give a complete picture of the sources of production.
Attention was also drawn to another interesting fact. Specially created logistic structures were engaged in the supply of caviar from the Far East. Intermediaries, whose task was to buy and send caviar, received a commission - 5-10%.
The Red Caviar network was established by Khabarovsk Sakhalin Fish LLC. The main activity of the company is wholesale of food products. In the system "SPARK-Interfax" there is only one operating organization with the same name. Its owner, general director and sole employee is Sergey Belousov. In general, the owners are not public, there is practically no information about them. Perhaps the only thing that was discovered was the fact that Mr. Belousov became a participant in the rating of general directors and ranks number 451 in the “others” sector in the Khabarovsk Territory as of March 19, 2019. It also says that "it is difficult to measure the personal contribution of Sergey Belousov to the development of the company Sakhalin Fish LLC (TIN 2721190432), made over 5 years as a leader."
At the same time, according to the media, the beneficiary of Red Caviar and Sakhalin Fish is entrepreneur Alexander Borisik. He also owns the rights to the Sakhalin Fish trademark. Alexander Borisik came into view several years ago, when in his refrigerated container employees of the prosecutor’s office and the Rosselkhoznadzor discovered 14.3 tons of potentially dangerous to human health fish products (red caviar, pollock roe, smelt, pink salmon, herring, saffron, etc.) . But the big scandal did not come out, and soon no one remembered this story.
So no serious complaints about the work of companies over the past years have arisen.
Revenge for success?
The revenue of Sakhalin Fish LLC in 2017 amounted to 443 million rubles, the profit was almost 18 million rubles. But this is the money that was officially transferred through the tax authorities. Tax officials believe that part of the money could be withheld and “laundered” through various schemes. But, it should be noted that for now this is just a suspicion.
The Red Caviar, of course, has its own vision of what is happening. The company suggests that the current search is related to the complaint that they filed with the prosecutor’s office on the tax authorities. So, last year, the tax service conducted a field audit, but did not issue the documents required in such cases.
According to the President of the Association of Industrial and Commercial Enterprises of the Fish Market, Vitaly Kornev, “Red Caviar” is a successful project, selling more red caviar a year than all the federal networks combined. Probably, the company used a way to optimize taxes, which the tax authorities considered suspicious.
However, the accountants, to whom the “Our version” correspondent turned for comments, explained that today tax optimization seems to tax authorities as a departure from their payment. It is extremely difficult for entrepreneurs to prove their case. How many would not call the highest people of the state "not to nightmare business", these appeals are not very impressive tax and security officials. Therefore, one of the most likely options for the development of events could be the additional charge of VAT along the whole chain: both trading organizations and intermediary firms. For the Red Caviar, this may result in losses of several billion rubles.
In the meantime, the network of shops "Red Caviar" continues to operate in the normal mode. And the tax authorities promised to report the results of the inspection.
Under the sign of the network of fish stores "Red Caviar" in the capital are working over 90 points. Shops specializes in the sale of caviar and fish, but the assortment also includes Far Eastern seafood - scallops, crabs, etc. The network accounts for about 40–50% of all red caviar sales in the capital. The price of products is lower than that of competitors.