- BBC News World
The US Department of Justice has charged five Russian nationals and two Venezuelan oil traders in the Eastern District of New York with involvement in a global sanctions evasion and money laundering network.
“The defendants were criminal promoters of oligarchs who orchestrated a complex scheme to illegally acquire U.S. military technology and sanction Venezuelan oil, through numerous transactions involving shell companies and cryptocurrencies,” said U.S. Attorney Brion Pease.
“Their efforts have undermined security, economic stability and the rule of law around the world,” he added.
According to the indictment revealed this Wednesday, the Russian citizens seized in different cities in Europe are: Yuri Orekov, 42 years old; Artem Uss, 40 years old; Svetlana Kuzurgasheva aka Lana Neumann, 32 years old; Timofey Telegin, 39, and Sergei Tulyakov, 52.
Orekhov and Kuzurgasheva allegedly used a front company called Nord-Deutsche Industrieanlagenbau GmbH (NDA GmbH) that was “acquired. Sensitive military technologies Dual use from U.S. manufacturers including advanced semiconductors and microprocessors used in military applications of fighter aircraft, missile systems, smart munitions, radar, satellites and space-based systems.
The items were sent to various recipients in Russia, including authorized companies controlled by Delizin and Tulyakov that provided services to the Russian military.
According to the US government, Orekov traveled to the US in 2019 to acquire parts used in the Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jet and the US-made F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jet.
Artem Us, for his part, is the son of the governor of Krasnoyarsk, a Russian region, and co-owner of NDA GmbH.
Orekhov and Uss are accused of using NDA GmbH It smuggles hundreds of millions of barrels of oil from Venezuela to Russian and Chinese buyers“Including the Russian Aluminum Corporation, which is controlled by a sanctioned oligarchy and the world’s largest oil, gas and petrochemical refining conglomerate.”
As for the other two defendants, known as Juan Fernando Serrano Ponce, Juanbe Serrano and Juan Carlos Soto; As part of the illegal network, he allegedly negotiated illegal oil contracts for Venezuela’s state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PTVSA).
Serrano and Soto allegedly brokered deals worth millions of dollars between PDVSA and NDA GmbH, which were executed through a complex set of shell companies and bank accounts to cover up the transactions.
The indictment details that Orekov contacted Serrano and openly admitted that he was acting on behalf of a sanctioned Russian oligarch: “He [el oligarca] There is also an economic embargo. That is why [estamos] Operates from this company [NDA GmbH]. As a facade.
Payments for NDA GmbH’s illegal activities were often made in US dollars sent through US financial institutions and correspondent bank accounts.
“To facilitate these transactions, Orekhov and his associates used shell companies, falsified customer documents and bank accounts in high-risk jurisdictions, allowing US banks to process millions of dollars in violation of US sanctions and other criminal laws,” the indictment says.
“The scheme used massive cash transfers and millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency exchanges with couriers in Russia and Latin America.
Criminals face crimes Conspiracy to deceive America.
Orekhov, Uss, Kuzurgasheva, Serrano Ponce and Soto are also charged with conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, conspiracy to commit bank fraud for an oil smuggling scheme, and conspiracy to commit money laundering for oil smuggling.
Meanwhile, Orekov, Kusurkasheva, Delezhin, and Tulyakov were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud; money laundering conspiracy to illegally acquire US dual-use technology; Conspiracy to violate the Export Control Reform Act and to smuggle goods from the United States.
The FBI is investigating the case and its director, Christopher Wray, said: “Along with our US and international partners, [el FBI] It will seriously disrupt the purchase of illegally obtained oil, money laundering and military technology from US companies to support Russia in its war against Ukraine.”
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