“King of Tobacconists” Andrei Kholodov, through a company in Cyprus, owns retail outlets throughout Kiev. Moreover, the «servant of the people» himself lobbied for amendments to the law that would simplify his work and, according to sources, avoided paying taxes.
So, in the stalls of Andrei Kholodov, the lion’s share of cigarettes is sold without fiscal checks, that is, taxes from them are not paid. The excise tax avoidance scheme, in particular, allows you to sell «left» products that are manufactured illegally bypassing all payments.
According to OBOZREVATEL sources, in Kholodov’s business «there is a complete set: left checks, tax evasion.» Also, according to journalists, a member of the Servant of the People was involved in the raider seizure of the Efkon plant in 2012.
There are three “shadow schemes” with cigarettes.
In the first case, well-known tobacco giants manufacture products, some of which go to the domestic market of the country, and some go illegally to the EU. Smugglers buy cigarettes in bulk for bulk and accumulate in large warehouses.
The second option is illegal factories that operate in Western Ukraine. They produce little-known cheap cigarettes and fakes of famous brands.
The third point — illegal imports — is the largest channel for cigarette deliveries to the EU. On the Ukrainian market you can find tobacco products from Belarus, the UAE, China, Russia, Romania, Moldova.
Who is Kholodov
Holodov’s business partner, Lesya Vasilievna Vasilchenko, is the owner of Tabak Industrial LTD LLC. Together with Shakhovskaya they are the owner of Apartment Building LTD.
It is noteworthy that Kholodov is a member of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy, where he helped to “extend” an amendment that would facilitate the trade in cigarettes. Thus, manufacturing companies will have to sell cigarettes to wholesale companies at a price not exceeding 80% of the maximum retail price, and wholesalers will be able to sell cigarettes to retail companies at a price not exceeding 87% of it.
Other evidence surfaced of Kholodov’s connection with the tobacco business.
Reineweg in Ukraine owned two companies: the already well-known Kiev Market Solution, which builds stops with kiosks in Kiev, and Anticus. The last beneficiary of the Cypriot Reineweg was until September 2019, after which Stella Shakhovskaya, the mother-in-law of Andrei Kholodov, became the owner of Antikus.
Personnel also indicate the relationship between the companies: the same person runs Kiev Market Solution now and has run Antikus in the past. This is Lyudmila Rudenko.
There was also an indirect connection between Kholodovy and companies that sell cigarettes in these MAFs. The people’s deputy himself denied the facts.