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28 Oct, 2022 14:34

Russian court orders arrest of governor's son detained in EU

Artem Uss was taken into custody in Italy, following a request by the US
Russian court orders arrest of governor's son detained in EU

A Moscow court has ordered the arrest of the son of Alexander Uss, the governor of the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk. According to court files, the ruling was made in absentia, and Artem Uss was placed on a wanted list.

The younger man was detained in Italy last week at the request of the US for alleged involvement in helping Moscow evade Western sanctions.

Artem Uss was charged with large-scale money laundering as part of an organized criminal group. The maximum penalty for such an offense is seven years in prison.

Uss has also been added to the database of wanted people on the Russian interior ministry’s website.  

Moscow can now demand his extradition from Italy as the 40-year-old had refused to be transferred to the US.

US authorities earlier announced that charges had been brought against Uss and four other Russian nationals. It’s claimed they were part of a group that purchased “advanced semiconductors and microprocessors used in fighter aircraft, missile systems, smart munitions, radar, and satellites” and then sold them to sanctioned Russian entities via a German-based shell company.

According to the US, the equipment had made it into the hands of the Russian defense industry and was allegedly later found in Russian hardware that had been abandoned in Ukraine. 

Uss and his associates have also been accused of smuggling hundreds of millions of barrels of sanctioned oil from Venezuela to customers in China and Russia, including to an aluminum tycoon blacklisted by Washington.

Reacting to his son’s arrest and the charges, governor Alexander Uss said that “political overtones are obvious in these accusations.” He pointed out that the goods were freely bought and sold all over the world, and the US had problems with it “simply because it is being done for the benefit of Russia.”