The State Customs Committee of Russia is continuing the investigation of violations of customs regulations by the groups of companies Grand and Tri Kita, which sold furniture without customs clearance. Customs Committee Deputy Chairman Yury Azarov told this information to reporters at a news conference in Moscow today. According to him, the position of the Customs Committee on these cases has not changed. The Customs Committee has evidence that these companies formed "an integral criminal scheme to evade payment of customs duties." The investigation has not been completed yet, and it will be continued. Answering a question about the Customs Committee's position on the customs officials against whom the General Prosecutor's' Office has filed a criminal case for exceeding the limits of their authority, Azarov said that he directly links the filing of these criminal cases to the situation about the Grand and Tri Kita trading centers. He confirmed the information that executives of the customs committee would defend their officers objectively, in accordance with the law. As it was reported earlier, as a result of an investigation of operations by large Moscow stores, Grand and Tri Kita, selling elite furniture, officials of the Customs Committee uncovered a smuggling channel for importing expensive furniture to Russia. Customs officers say that the investigation has lead to one person, Sergei Zuyev, the CEO of both stores. Marat Faizullin, first deputy head of Customs Investigations Department, stated earlier that the state was underpaid $10,000 per trailer with furniture delivered to Russia. Damage of about $8 million has already been proven, but customs officers point out that the total sum of damage might reach hundreds of millions of dollars.
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