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Archived updates for Monday, May 23, 2005

Russian Officials Accused of Protecting Counterfeiters

According to the Wall Street Journal on May 12, 2005, Russioan Legislator Vladimir Ovsyannikov makes no bones about his relationship to Sergei Kaluzhenok, the owner of a Moscow warehouse recently found to be filled with counterfeits. "A politician isn't a politician unless he can offer krysha -- to bandits, prostitutes, or state officials, it doesn't matter," he said in an interview."

When police launched a second raid on the warehouse in December 2004, they found a newly installed steel door, in front of another door, with a red sign saying the warehouse was now Mr. Ovsyannikov's public office. Police contacted the lawmaker, who said he didn't even know he had an office there. "I have 15 of them, and I can't tell you where they all are," he said. " All these street names get muddled up in my head."
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