СПЕЦИАЛЬНЫЙ РЕПОРТАЖ (12+)28.01.19 17:00

“Cod pirate: Russian-British investigation”

The special report “Cod pirate: Russian-British investigation” caused a great resonance. More than 80 thousand people watched it on the social network VKontakte. A lot of of our viewers watched it on the air of the channel. But we know that western journalists are also interested in our investigation.  most likely, it will be very interesting for the Norwegian police and the tax authorities of several countries. Therefore, we publish the English version of the Russian-British investigation.

Специальный репортаж «Тресковый пират: российско-британское расследование» вызвал большой резонанс. Его посмотрели более 80 тысяч человек только в социальной сети «ВКонтакте», и много наших телезрителей в эфире телеканала. Но мы знаем, что нашим расследованием заинтересовались и западные журналисты и, скорее всего, оно будет очень интересно норвежской полиции и налоговым органам нескольких стран. Поэтому мы выкладываем английскую версию российско-британского расследования. Далее следует текст специального репортажа редакции «Арктик-ТВ» на английском языке.

 

During the ten years of its work, the TV channel “Arctic-tv” many times appeared in courts as a defendant. After incriminating special reports different politicians, businessmen and even the whole law enforcement structure - Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Murmansk region - filed lawsuits against our editorial staff. Their aim is to get a denial of exposing materials, whitewash their names. However, Themis closely versed in court cases and the plaintiffs left with nothing. Every time the court decision for the TV channel is one more confirmation of our words and our rightness. During our investigations, we use a variety of sources, get expert advices and study documents. That’s why we are not afraid of the courts, we are ready to confirm our words and answer for them. Unlike many media outlets that delete their articles or stories after receiving the first complaint letter, we act differently. We prepare for the courts collecting even more facts confirming our correctness.

This is exactly what the TV channel “Arctic-tv” did after receiving a complaint letter from a Moscow firm of lawyers representing the interests of a foreigner Magnus Roth. Let's get acquainted with this person and find out what has so excited a foreigner that he was ready to sue for honor and dignity in Russia.

According to information from open sources, Magnus Roth is a Swedish citizen, businessman with real estate in several European countries. We mentioned him in the article about changes in the fish business. It was on the eve of the distribution of quotas on the historical principle - for 15 years. We told that over the past 3 decades, the approach to the principle of allocation of quotas has changed a lot of times. The attitude to foreign investors also changed. In the end, it was decided to ban their participation in the capital of Russian fishing companies. This decision was made in order to leave the capital in Russia and not give foreigners the opportunity to get rich at the expense of our Russian fish. Such situations have occurred. And one of the foreigners earning money on Russian fish was Magnus Roth. The website “Compromat” referring to one of the marine ecologists “for risky and not always legal operations” called Magnus Roth the “cod pirate”.  That’s about what the article and then the story on the TV channel “Arctic-tv” were about. Among the viewers there were those who know about Mr. Roth firsthand.

«Been there, done that. I personally attended the meetings of Magnus Roth with fishermen, when he received money. I also dealt with this businessman. Money was given in rather lush envelopes. He not only carved up our fish, but also took out cash. What taxes? This person has not even heard of this, I assure you. Everything was done illegally» - This was written by one of the users of the network on the website arctic-tv.ru, confirming our information that even after the sale of shares Magnus Roth a lot of times visited Murmansk. Maybe he has tried to find sources of income in a familiar fish industry. At this moment we assumed that the appearance of a person who had managed to earn millions on Russian fish and Russian quotas should cause heightened attention from people in uniform.

Looking for the information about Magnus Roth, we also found the investigation film “Predatory Fishermen” on the TV channel NRK. In this film the name of Magnus Roth also sounds. What other information do we know about this person? He lives in Hong Kong and Switzerland, and does business in Norway. The website "Compromat.ru" indicates that Magnus Roth is a member of the board of directors in a number of large Scandinavian companies. As it became known to “Arctic-TV”, among fishermen there is an opinion that Magnus Roth can provide consulting services not just for business, but also for tax evasion, based on the schemes developed earlier when he did business in Russia or Norway.

This is the whole essence of the materials that appeared on the website and on the TV channel “Arctic-TV”. Magnus Roth through his lawyer demanded to refute these materials. But instead of fulfilling the requirements of a foreigner, we began a new investigation and found a like-minded person from Great Britain. David Leppard - a British investigative journalist with nearly 30 years of experience in the Times and The Sunday Times where he wrote about intelligence, terrorism and national security. He has journalist awards and also write books, now David Leppard is The Sunday Times freelance correspondent. He agreed to meet with us near Magnus Roth’s house in Switzerland. The house is located in the south of the country in the picturesque city of Lugano. This place is called a city with an Italian character. Tourists loved it for the embankment on the Lake Lugano and picturesque parks, and the oligarchs loved it for the beautiful view of the water and mountains from the panoramic windows of luxury villas.

David Leppard, British investigative journalist

I’m standing in front of this very large house which is also looking Lake Lugano in the city of the name of that tourist resort. Mr. Roth is an extremely wealthy Swedish businessman has made hundreds millions of dollars in the fish industry when he was running business in Norway. Much of his business was very controversial and he involved fishing in Russian waters – in and around the Barents Sea. Mr. Roth, as I discovered, lived in Norway for 15 years and then, after Norwegian tax authorities and Norwegian fishing authorities and the Norwegian media began investigating his business, he left Norway suddenly and went to live in Hong Kong. But then in 2014 Mr. Roth again changed the country of his residence and he came here to Switzerland, in the city of Lugano, where he bought this enormous mansion. This is one of the biggest houses, one of the most expensive houses in one of the most expensive streets in the outskirts of Lugano. I began investigating Mr. Roth earlier this year after sources told me that despite of huge fortune, he paid little or no taxes.  

During the investigation of the Magnus Roth case, David Leppard had already visited Switzerland and Norway more than once and managed to get a number of documents that confirmed his guesses, and at the same time confirm the material that we published and broadcast on our TV channel.

David Leppard, British investigative journalist

So I discovered three facts about Magnus Roth and his tax affairs. Fact №1 is that in the year 2002 Mr. Roth admitted that he had evaded value added tax in Norway in the importation of a horse from the United Kingdom into Norway. I have seen correspondence, which I have here, from Mr. Roth’s lawyers to the Norwegian customs tax authorities in which he admits that he broke the law by failing to pay the proper tax on the importation of at least one horse. The correspondence reveals there may be as many as 7 horses that Mr. Roth has failed to pay tax on. The correspondence also shows that Mr. Roth expected to pay a fine as punishment of more than a 100 thousand of Norwegian krona.   

The Norwegian edition Aftenposten published an article about this fact. There is a photograph of Magnus Roth and the title above it: “Cheating with moms and price.” MOMS is a tax in Norway. Magnus Roth gave an interview to the edition, he said that he was embroiled in fraud by the horse seller. And how else? When it came to light, he had to make excuses. He discussed the same position in correspondence with lawyers. However, David Leppard is sure that this is only an attempt to roll over on others and get away from responsibility. The British journalist believes that the tax services should also check other transactions of Magnus Roth, associated with the purchase of horses. According to the investigator, there were at least 8 such transactions. David Leppard also reported that Magnus Roth had violated the law when importing horses in Holland. And this is hardly a coincidence - rather a regularity. Evidence that Magnus Roth is seriously passionate about horses and could repeatedly transport them across the border we found in Norway. Here his family has its own stable. Were the horses brought here legally? Apparently, this question is not only for the tax authorities, but also for the police. David Leppard is ready to give all materials collected during the journalistic investigation to the tax service and the Norwegian police for further official investigation.

David Leppard, British investigative journalist

And fact number three, which I have discovered recently, is that Mr. Roth who lives here is the subject of official inquiry by the Norwegian tax authorities at the moment into the sources of his income in Norway and how much tax he has paid in Norway. So as the result of this investigation I came here recently to see if I could interview Mr. Roth and ask him questions about his taxis in different countries where he’s been living. In the last 20 years moving from one country to another making it very difficult for the authorities to establish exactly how much tax Mr. Roth was supposed to pay.

We met with David Leppard at Magnus Roth's house not by chance, but hoping to find this person here and together ask him a number of questions. David’s previous attempt to interview Roth turned into a rude attitude and even abusive language.

David Leppard, British investigative journalist

I’ve met Mr. Roth just outside his house here as he was returning in the morning. Mr. Roth refused to answer any of my questions. I asked him whether he had evaded tax, on value added tax in 2002 in respect of the importation of a horse in the Norway from the United Kingdom. He did not answer my question. I asked him whether in fact of there is his place to be living all the time in Switzerland for the purposes of his tax affairs he had in fact spent a great deal of time in Norway, where his wife has a very substantial property outside of Oslo, the Norwegian tax authorities say that any person who has spent 217 days or more in Norway in the last 4 years he is liable to pay the full tax in Norway on all of their income and capital gains, regardless of where they live the rest of the year. Mr. Roth again refused to answer my question. I attempted to give him a list of 9 questions which I have here, a copy of which I got, in order that he had an opportunity to understand what the full detail of the questions were that I was asking. But he simply refused to receive the document. So I then put the document down in front of his door as he was going in and he physically kicked the document several times quit violently and then he shut the door on my face. So now I’m back in Lugano outside Mr. Roth’s very, very large house and I want to deliver a letter to him, explaining that I would like to talk to him again about the latest development in this story which is late a great interest from journalists in Great Britain, in Norway, in Switzerland and especially in Russia. We want to ask him; Mr. Roth, you made a great deal of money in the fishing industry involving quotas in Russian fishing waters. With that money and with the income which you received have you been paying the proper taxes? Either in Russia, or in Norway, or in Switzerland, or even in Hong Kong. How much tax have you paid? Why wont you speak to the media?        

It was not possible to find Magnus Roth at home and get answers to these questions. A neighbor who met us on the way, said that Mr. Roth is often on a trip - in Norway. Perhaps now he is also there. 

We left Magnus Roth a letter with a journalistic inquiry. We are also ready to interview Magnus Roth anytime and in any country, if he is only ready to meet with journalists and openly answer all our questions. However, the most honest and objective answers can be obtained only after the official investigation not only from the tax services, but also from the police. In Norway, tax evasion is a serious crime against the state and society.

David Leppard, British investigative journalist

In Norway the Norwegian authorities take tax avoidance or tax evasion very, very seriously. I have inside knowledge from the Norwegian government that they are interested in Mr. Roth tax affairs. Because they see that the men like Mr. Roth who has made a great deal of money in Norway, continues to be paid director’s fees in Norway, has substantial investments in Norwegian companies despite the fact that he comes to be a permanent resident here in Lugano in Switzerland. How much tax should he really be paying to the Norwegian people, to the Norwegian government? So that they can pay for hospitals and roads and police. And they want to know it certainly.       

However, in order to find out exactly what taxes Mr. Roth must pay and what kind of dividends he receives, a really thorough investigation is needed. Magnus Roth hides many of his incomes - and not only from the state, but also from his colleagues - the co-owner of firms. But we will tell about it in our next special reports.

As for taxes, crimes in this field in European countries, as David Leppard explained to us, are punished severely. Remember only the story of Real Madrid's football player Cristiano Ronaldo. In Spain, he was accused of avoiding paying taxes on income derived from the rights to his image. According to the country's authorities, he used for this purpose offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands and in Ireland. The football player first denied the charges, and when he realized that he was facing a real prison sentence, he agreed to pay the unpaid taxes and a fine of 19 million euros. Even despite this, he was sentenced to 2 years probation.  How will end the investigation against Magnus Roth and what punishment he will incur is still unknown. We will follow the development of this story together with a British investigative journalist. We will publish the results of official investigations. Surely, the police will be able to find out much more than the journalists of the TV channel Arctic-TV and the British edition during just 2 trips to European countries.

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KrapivinF
19.09.20 08:16
Дно ворот Арктики! Вот так и реализуется в Мурманске программа "Формирование комфортной городской среды". И таких злачных мест в Мурманске полно.
Георгий
17.09.20 22:00
Уважаемая редакция. По имеемой достоверной информации по состоянию на сегодняшний день упомянутый Вами в статье туристический проект "Порт Лиинахамари" был исключен из инвестиционного проекта "Террито
Вячеслав
17.09.20 21:14
Сегодня 17.09.2020 г. Владимир Мошников скончался
Комментарий к новости:Вова + Ира = семейный бизнес!
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