A Turkish mediator for a Swedish manager from the IKEA furniture chain in Russia has been sentenced to five years prison after a Moscow court convicted him of large-scale extortion, the Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.
Turkish citizen Okan Yunalan helped Carl Ola Ingvaldsson, head of the leasing department in IKEA's Russian subsidiary, to extort 6.5 million rubles ($197,090) from a Russian businessman who wanted to rent out part of a shopping mall near Moscow controlled by the Swedish company, the world's largest home furnishing products seller.
Yunalan was arrested red-handed in April 2011 when he received the money from the businessman in a Moscow city cafe, the police said in a statement.
"According to the sentence, [Yunalan] will serve his term in a maximun security penal colony," the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
Ingvaldsson remains on a national wanted list, along with another Turkish citizen, Ildirim Ferit.
IKEA said in a statement it always investigated any alleged offences or crimes and reported proved facts to the authorities concerned.
"We are aware of the court decision in connection with the police investigation against a number of former IKEA co-workers in Russia. We welcome the police investigation and cooperate fully with the Russian authorities," IKEA told RIA Novosti.
The company also said the Swedish citizen mentioned in the statement by the Russian police was not currently an IKEA MOS employee, while the Turkish citizens mentioned in the statement were not and had never been employed by IKEA.