Arkadi Gontmakher, the former head of Global Fishing Inc., based in Washington, was the largest importer of the Russian crab in the United States. On a Moscow business trip in fall 2007 Gontmakher was arrested and charged with poaching, money laundering and organizing a criminal organization. The Russian government alleged he was part of a smuggling ring that sold millions of pounds of crab illegally taken from the waters off the Kamchatka Peninsula. After being finally acquitted in December 2010, he was rearrested and charged with the same charges again.
The businessman turned to the Russian law enforcement authorities with a proposal to formally renounce all his claims related to 3.5 years imprisonment and destruction of his business, in exchange for a permission to leave for health treatment to the U.S., but Russian investigators have not granted it.
In April 2011, Russian press reported that a new diplomatic row erupted between Russia and the United States as Arkady Gontmakher left to America in a time when the Russian Federation investigated a criminal case against him. It was also reported that Moscow demands an explanation from Washington as to Gontmakher’s mysterious exodus from Moscow and intends to seek extradition of a businessman.