The MIA Administration for the Kaluga Region has opened a criminal investigation into the theft of land from OOO NLMK-Kaluga (LLC), eventually acquired by the Russian subsidiary of Nestlé.
The police will question the top management of Nestlé-Russia in connection with the criminal investigation concerning the theft of land from OOO NLMK-Kaluga (LLC), reports Novye Izvestia. The disputed land plot with a total area of 8.35 hectares in Vorsino industrial park was purchased by Nestlé-Russia for 62.3 million rubles—but it had been allegedly stolen from its lawful owner, OOO NLMK-Kaluga (LLC).
What we know so far about the case:
- The disputed plot is located in the industrial park Vorsino in Kaluga Oblast, between the two enterprises—OOO NLMK-Kaluga (LLC) and Nestlé-Russia;
- The creation of the park was initiated by the government of Kaluga Oblast. To stimulate business activity, the local authorities exempted investors from paying the tax on the property of organizations and reduced the income tax rate;
- According to the documents, a certain set-employed entrepreneur Arabadzhi purchased the land in question from OOO NLMK-Kaluga for 28 thousand rubles (roughly USD350) in 2018;
- A year later, Arabadzhi sold the same plot of land to Nestlé-Russia for 62.3 million rubles (roughly USD790,000);
- Having purchased the land, the Swiss company requested the local authorities that the infrastructure of the former owner be removed at the expense of the Kaluga Region Development Corporation—including sewage network and modular buildings currently sitting on the site.
At present, the investigation has requested that Nestlé-Russia LLC provide information about the persons directly involved in the preparation, conclusion, and execution of the contract with Arabadzhi. To establish the circumstances surrounding the case, the police will question the persons linked to the purchase transaction.
According to the local Department of Rosreestr (Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre, and Cartography), one of Nestlé’s GR managers was executing the deal with said self-employed entrepreneur Arabadzhi; however, during the interrogation he refused to testify, citing Article 51 of the Russian Constitution.
Nestle-Russia is a subsidiary company of Nestle S.A., a Swiss multinational food and drink processing conglomerate corporation. The company has been operating in post-Soviet Russia since 1994.
NLMK-Kaluga is a new generation electrometallurgical plant in Kaluga Oblast, part of NLMK Group — a leading international manufacturer of high-quality steel products with a global presence.