Russian budget losing up to USD 400 million annually from illegal sale of alcohol products

The production and sale of alcohol thanks to the quick turnover of investment and high liquidity is one of the more criminal areas of the economy, and as a result of this activity the government is losing from USD 267 million to USD 400 million annually, said Deputy Director of the Second Division of the Operative-Research Bureau of the Economic Crimes Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Colonel Yuri Zakharenkov at a press conference entitled 'defence of the consumer market from criminal infringement in the area of alcohol sales.

He said that in January and February 2003 authorities discovered the illegal production of alcohol on the territory of the republic of Northern Osetia. The alcohol was called Astra and had a content of 94% ethyl alcohol. The liquid was seized in Vologda, Arkhangelsk and Nizhnevartovsky regions, said Zakharenkov. He said that the fact of illegal alcohol production at Eksiton company was suppressed in the republic of Kabardino-Balkariya. The company failed to register the production of 140 bottles of vodka, and evaded paying taxes in the amount of USD 63.3 million. The reason for this situation is the absence of state regulation and licensing of sales of illegal alcohol and their relatively lower prices. In comparison with legal vodka, methyl alcohol production excise duty is not paid, said Zakharenkov.

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