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U.S. Charges Man With Smuggling Military Tech to Russia

A police vehicle in Cyprus. Dickelbers (CC BY-SA 3.0)

A Russian-German man arrested earlier this week in Cyprus was charged Thursday by U.S. authorities with seeking to export American-made electronics to Russia for military use.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Arthur Petrov, 33, violated export controls in a scheme to procure American microelectronics for a Russian firm that provides "critical electronics components" to the Russian military.

Petrov used a cover company in Cyprus, telling U.S. vendors that the electronics were to be used in Cyprus or other authorized countries for fire security systems, the Justice Department said.

The things he sought to buy were microcontrollers and integrated circuits that cannot be lawfully exported to Russia, and Petrov was aware of that, it said.

The ultimate buyer, according to the Justice Department, was a St. Petersburg company named Electrocom VPK, which supplies electronic components for Russian weapons makers.

Petrov was arrested in Cyprus on Aug. 26, at the request of the United States, the department said. It did not say if a formal extradition request had been submitted.

He is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to violate the Export Control Reform Act, smuggling, wire fraud, and money laundering.

Several of the charges bring up to 20 years in prison.

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