Suspect in major cell phone smuggling case not to be prosecuted
MOSCOW, May 16 - RAPSI, Anna Shubina. The Moscow City Court has validated the refusal to stop prosecuting Yakov Ardashnikov, who has been accused of smuggling cell phones in Euroset, Ardashnikov's attorney Pavel Zaytsev told the Russian Legal Information Agency on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the investigators closed the case in April. Ardashnikov is now in Monaco.
The lawyer said he previously submitted an appeal against the case's illegal consideration, but he now has nothing to appeal against.
On Wednesday, the Moscow City Court validated the district court's ruling refusing to dispute the investigation into the case.
The attorney said earlier that an investigation should not be held after the criminal case stopped following amendments to the Criminal Code decriminalizing the illegal sale of goods.
Alexei Shirokov, the executive director of the brokerage firm that supplied the mobile phones to Euroset, and Ardashnikov, who headed a company in Monaco, were brought to responsibility in the case. Several people were also sentenced, including the former deputy head of the Sheremetyevo airport customs service.
Shirokov's attorney noted that the case has been closed as contraband is no longer a crime. Former Euroset head Yevgeny Chichvarkin has acted as a witness in the case.
Ardashnikov was placed on the international wanted list. He was arrested in Monaco upon the request of the law enforcement agencies. He then spent roughly one year in prison. He has since been released under his own recognizance.
The smuggling case was initiated in 2005. Investigators maintain that Ardashnikov and his accomplices inflicted damages amounting to 570 million rubles ($18.38 million) on the state.