Thursday, October 4, 2012

US Alleges Russian Spy Ring

Eleven members of an alleged secret Russian military procurement network have been charged in the United States with illegally shipping sophisticated microelectronics to Russian military and intelligence agencies, according to a federal indictment unsealed in US District Court on Wednesday. The FBI arrested the alleged leader of the ring, 46-year-old Alexander Fishenko, and seven others on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. They also executed search warrants at seven residences and business locations and seized assets from five bank accounts. The US Department of Justice says it believes three other suspects are back in Russia, and that since 2008, Fishenko has been running an elaborate scheme that tricked US customs agents into believing that his company – Houston-based Arc Electronics, Inc. -- was manufacturing and shipping routine products to Russia. Instead, they were providing the Russian military with “controlled, sensitive technologies” that could be used for radar and surveillance systems, weapons guidance systems or detonation triggers. According to Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, Russian spy agencies were not involved in an alleged smuggling network uncovered by the United States. "The charges are of a criminal nature and have nothing to do with the work of the secret services," Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

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