A Russian-German man who had been detained earlier this week in Cyprus was accused by US authorities on Thursday of attempting to smuggle electronics developed in the US for military use to Russia.
According to the US Department of Justice, Arthur Petrov, 33, engaged in illegal export activity when he set up a scheme to buy American microelectronics for a Russian company that supplies “critical electronics components” to the Russian military.
According to the Justice Department, Petrov established a cover business in Cyprus to deceive US vendors into believing that the electronics were for use in fire security systems in Cyprus or other permitted nations.
It was claimed that Petrov knew that the microcontrollers and integrated circuits he wanted to purchase were illegal to export to Russia.
The Justice Department claims that a Saint Petersburg company called Electrocom VPK, which provides electrical components to Russian military manufacturers, was the ultimate purchaser.
According to the department, Petrov was detained in Cyprus on August 26 at the request of the US. It was not specified whether an official extradition request had been made.
Smuggling, wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracies to violate the Export Control Reform Act are some of the charges against him. Many of the offenses carry sentences of up to 20 years in jail.
Since President Vladimir Putin authorized the disastrous invasion of pro-Western Ukraine, the United States, along with Europe and other democratic nations, have imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia.
The US Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Matthew Axelrod, declared in a statement that “those who evade our export control restrictions to support Putin’s brutal war machine will be held accountable.”