Investigators return legally purchased hard drinks to the company

Tax issues: Criminal proceedings against business initiated by State Fiscal Service Kharkiv region

Complainee:  The State Fiscal Service (SFS), Large Taxpayers Office (LTO)
Complaint in brief: The Council received a complaint from a food and beverage distributor in Kharkiv Oblast. The company complained of pressure from law enforcers, who seized and did not return the company’s property. Within criminal proceedings, investigators searched the company’s warehouses to check its working documents because of the company’s alleged involvement in the sale of illegally produced alcohol. However, despite the court’s injunction, law enforcement officers seized imported alcoholic beverages from the company. The complainant appealed to the LTO investigator and asked for the seized property to be returned. He argued that the alcohol seized by the police had been purchased legally, as evidenced by the company’s contract with the supplier and the respective tax invoices. However, the complainant failed to return his property on his own. The company then asked the Business Ombudsman Council for assistance.
Actions taken: The investigator examined the case file and found the complaint substantiated. The Council recommended that the LTO return the seized property to the complainant, whose request for arrest of which was not satisfied by the court. In a letter to law enforcers, the BOC investigator stressed that the court’s refusal to arrest property entails the return to the person of all or part of temporarily seized property in accordance with Part 3 of Art. 173 of the CPC of Ukraine.
Result achieved: The LTO followed the Council’s recommendations and returned strong drinks seized during the search. The complainant’s lawyer informed the BOC of the return of property. The case was successfully closed.

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