The General Prosecutor’s Office of Russia, through the court, demands that all the shares of the car dealer “Rolf” be classified as state income. The lawsuit with such a demand against the company and its founder Sergey Petrov was filed on December 27. According to the case card on the website of the Moscow District Court of St. Petersburg, the first hearing on it is scheduled for January 18, Meduza reports.
A few days before filing the claim, on December 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree transferring the shares of the country’s largest car dealer, Rolf, to the temporary management of Rosimushchestvo. This is the first case in Russia when the company of a Russian businessman is transferred to the temporary management of the state. The founder of “Rolf”, a former deputy of the State Duma, Sergey Petrov, in a comment to RBC, called the decision a “legal absurdity”.
According to the presidential decree, the shares of “Rolf” were to formally remain in the ownership of Delance Ltd., a company registered in Cyprus. Now the Prosecutor General’s Office demands that they be transferred to the ownership of the Russian Federation, which means a full-fledged nationalization of Rolf.
Sergey Petrov founded the company in 1991. In 2019, a criminal case was opened against him and a number of Rolf executives on suspicion of illegal currency transactions and transfers of funds to the accounts of non-residents.
Petrov, who was declared an international wanted man by Russia, did not admit guilt, saying that the case could be connected with his political position or raider enthusiasm.
From 2007 to 2015, Petrov was a member of the State Duma. In 2011, he supported mass protests against falsifications in parliamentary elections. Petrov spoke against the “Dyma Yakovlev law” prohibiting foreigners from adopting children, against the “Yarova package”. The politician did not vote on the annexation of Crimea. After the initiation of the criminal case, several pro-Kremlin publications published materials about Petrov’s financing of the activities of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Petrov himself did not directly talk about it.