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Is this the crab boat's mysterious owner?

By: Siri Gedde-Dahl, Gunnar Thorenfeldt, Leif Rod, Ola Strømman and Audra Girijote, translation: Boris Kochetkov

OSLO, norway/ODESSA (Dagbladet): A Russian lawyer, owns, on paper, the vessel "Kalmar". At the same time, a businessman in Vladivostok says that the boat belongs to his fleet in the Polar Group company, which has a local office in Båtsfjord.

THE UNKNOWN HELL: Dagbladet reveals everyday life on board snow crab boats that operated from Swansea. Video: Øistein Norum Monsen and Gunnar Thorenfeldt. Edit: Per Ervland Show more CRAB WAR In one of its previous articles, the Newspaper uncovered the unworthy conditions on board crabbing boats owned by the Latvian company Baltjura-serviss and told the story of the seaman Dmitry Kravchenko who disappeared at sea. Read more →

None of the two has responded to two Newspaper's inquiries. And the man who represents the shipowner, the well-known Latvian lobbyist and politician Didzis Šmits, refuses two answer who owns the company. He accuses the Newspaper's employees of being agents of the English state in the fight for the rights to snow crab in the Barents Sea.

In its previous article, the Newspaper revealed the miserable and dangerous working conditions on board vessels "Valka" and "Kalmar", which were involved in the snow crab fishery out of Båtsfjord in Finnmark and which a Ukrainian sailor Dmitry Kravchenko (33) worked on. Several of the seamen Dagbladet has talked two compared the life on board two "good luck".

The Deadliest Catch No one will answer the widow

The circumstances surrounding Dmitry's disappearance at sea that night on September 4 this year, after "Kalmar" had left the Barents Sea and headed for Africa, are unclear.

This also fully applies to the ownership of Baltjura-serviss, which used the Seychelles-based Mayking Management as an employer.

The Seychelles-based company does not respond to the widow or to the Newspaper's inquiries, and the "outsourcing" of the employer role leaves here, likely without any form of compensation after here husband's tragic death.

the OWNER? Polar Group, on its home page, behaves as if they own the "Kalmar". They also state that they have their own office in Swansea. But no one in the company answers the Newspaper's inquiries. Show more

A smokescreen of companies

According to the ship register, the vessel is owned by the Latvian company Baltjura-Serviss, which is owned by the Lithuanian mailbox company Turijanus, which in its turn is owned by Russian lawyer, Maksim Chan (39).

He is a successful Russian corporate lawyer with an additional degree in economics. Chan also holds a prestigious public post as a member of a judicial nominating commission.

It is in this regard that the Newspaper has obtained access to Maksim Chan’s CV and a photo of his passport. The documents are publicly available.

According to Russian media, Chan has collaborated closely with the Vladivostok-based fishery businessman and investor Sergei Ro, and was employed by his company. Therefore, many have raised questions.

INFERNAL BOAT: Several seamen described this crab fishing boat, "Kalmar", as hell. Photo: private Show more

Sergei Ro owns the company Polar Group in Vladivostok. According to its website, the Polar Group is a joint venture with, among others, Baltjura-serviss.

There are six companies in the Polar Group, and a fleet of a total of eight boats. Boats known for landing snow crab in Swansea - "Kalmar", "Memele", "Valka" and "Dubna" - are Baltjura-serviss' vessels under the umbrella of the Polar Group.

No answer

the Newspaper has repeatedly tried to get in touch with Chan and Ro, but so far none of them has answered any of the Newspaper's inquiries.

Early Tuesday morning, the Newspaper reached someone that the Polar Group's telephone in Vladivostok.

— The company is no longer here and Maksim Chan is now working somewhere else, says a man's voice, who refused to say where the Chan of the Rest were or how we could get in touch with them.

In 2007, Maksim Chan was appointed head of the legal department that CJSC Vostok-Japan. According to the ship register, it was Vostok-Japan which previously owned "Kalmar". Vostok-Japan is part of the Polar Group.

The holding company the Polar Group has several permanent offices in the Far East, namely in Vladivostok, Khabarovsk and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, as well as an office in Busan, South Korea. According to the Polar Group website, additional offices have also been established in Liepaja in Latvia, Klapeida in Lithuania, Velsen in the Netherlands and Båtsfjord in Norway.

According to the Polar Group, the crabs are o two Japan and Korea.

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