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US charges three more Russians over sanctions evasion

US prosecutors charged two Russians and a Russian-American Wednesday over an alleged plan to evade export controls to help Moscow’s war effort in Ukraine, a day after three others were charged in a similar scheme. Nikolay Grigorev, Nikita Arkhipov and Artem Oloviannikov were charged by federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York with four counts, including conspiracy to export electronic components for Russia’s drones, a press release said. Grigorev, who resides in New York City’s largest borough, Brooklyn, was arrested on Wednesday while the two other Russia-based defendants remained at large, the statement said. A court filing said that Grigorev is a US citizen but “still has a Russian passport” and traveled there “recently.” A spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office later said that Grigorev had been released on a $250,000 bail and had to wear a GPS bracelet. “As alleged, these defendants conducted a sophisticated scheme, violating American sanctions in order to fuel Russia’s war effort,” US Attorney Breon Peace said. According to the charges, Grigorev and Oloviannikov had registered a company in Brooklyn named “QLC” through which about $270,000 was transferred from a Russian entity now under sanctions. Communications among the two men and Arkhipov, who utilized a QLC company email address from Russia, “explicitly reference efforts to circumvent US sanctions,” according to the statement. It added that a search in June of Grigorev’s residence in Brooklyn “successfully interdicted over 11,500 electronic components purchased from the Brooklyn Company that were awaiting unlawful export to Russia.” In a separate case, Peace’s office charged three other Russians on Tuesday with circumventing US sanctions to export electronic components to Russia, which were later found on the Ukrainian battlefield. Nikolay Golstev, 37, and his wife, Kristina Puzyreva, 32 — both Russian-Canadian — were arrested along with their alleged partner Salimdzhon Nariddinov, 52, who has Russian-Tajik citizenship. The head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen, said in a statement his office was “committed to holding accountable individuals who would defy US law in support of Russian aggression in Ukraine.”

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