. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Prosecutor Gives Bird To Police

ST. PETERSBURG -- An investigation by the Transport Prosecutor's Office has concluded that St. Petersburg law enforcement and customs had no grounds to confiscate thousands of tons of frozen chicken from a Brazilian company.

St. Petersburg police confiscated $1 million in frozen chicken two weeks ago on grounds of smuggling.

Police and customs have both stated that some of the cargo, while still lacking proper customs authorization, was improperly removed from a warehouse and handed to unidentified persons.

The Brazilian company America Meridional de Commercio International Ltd. has insisted all along that it did indeed have the proper authorization. The Brazilian ship that brought the chicken to St. Petersburg has now set sail for other ports.

Company officials have said they believe the police are acting on behalf of America Meridional's competitors to destroy the company's business in Russia before it could start.

According to one report, police clashed Dec. 11 with OMON paramilitary police in a scuffle over some of the chicken legs.

Ezry Akerman, a representative of the Brazilian company, has said law enforcement bodies had acted "illegally."

Vadim Nepryakhin of the Transport Prosecutor's Office backed America Meridional's case Dec. 16. After studying the cargo documents, Nepryakhin ruled that there had been no violation of customs rules and thus no grounds to confiscate America Meridional's cargo.