The US Justice Department on Tuesday announced the indictment of five Russian nationals, including a suspected security service agent, and two Americans, accused of illegally supplying Russia with sensitive electronic components and ammunition. Three of them are in custody, including one awaiting extradition to Estonia, and four are at large, he said in a statement. The Department of Justice and its international partners will not tolerate criminal attempts to support the Russian war effort in Ukraine.commented Minister Merrick Garland quoted in this document.
30 years imprisonment incurred
According to the indictment, the seven defendants had worked for at least five years for two Russian companies “directed by the intelligence services” from their country. These purchased components likely to have military applications, and therefore subject to strict regulations, and illegally imported them into Russia using front companies and a variety of bank accounts. The goods, whose value is estimated at several million dollars, transited through Estonia, Finland, Germany and Hong Kong, according to this document.
In March, the two companies were hit by US sanctions imposed in response to the invasion of Ukraine by troops from Moscow. According to the prosecutors, this did not stop them from continuing their trade: in October, one of the defendants tried to cross the border between Estonia and Russia with 35 types of semiconductors and thousands of cartridges for assault rifles. In November, he was again prevented from entering Russia with tactical ammunition. He was finally arrested on December 6 by Estonian authorities at the request of the United States. The seven defendants are accused of fraud, criminal associations, smuggling, money laundering and violation of international sanctions and face 30 years in prison.