MONTREAL — United States federal prosecutors in New York have charged two Montreal residents with wire fraud conspiracy for allegedly exporting electronic components to Russia for military use.
U.S. authorities say some of the electronic components and integrated circuits they are alleged to have exported were found in Russian missile systems, helicopters, drones and battle tanks captured in Ukraine.
Nikolay Goltsev, 37, and Kristina Puzyreva, 32, a Russian-Canadian married couple, were arrested Tuesday during a trip to visit alleged co-conspirator Salimdzhon Nasriddinov, 52, who is a Russian and Tajikistan national living in New York City.
Prosecutors allege the three -- along with co-conspirators in Russia -- plotted to evade U.S. sanctions on Russia and controls that limit the export of technologies that have both civilian and military use.
They say the alleged conspirators used New York-based front companies to make over 300 shipments valued at over $10 million to Russia, using a series of other businesses in Turkey, Hong Kong, India, China and the United Arab Emirates to disguise the real destination.
Prosecutors say intercepted communications between Goltsev and Nasriddinov show that both of them were aware that the components they were shipping to Russia could be used for military purposes.
"With these defendants in U.S. custody, we have disrupted a sophisticated procurement network allegedly used to procure critical technologies for the Russian military’s advanced weapons systems,” Matthew G. Olsen, assistant attorney general with the Justice Department’s national security division, said in a news release.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2023.
The Canadian Press