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US charges trio for smuggling electronics to Russia’s military

A US citizen and two Canadian nationals have been arrested and charged with conspiracy and smuggling critical technologies to Russia vital for advanced military hardware.
Ka-52 helicopter
Kamov Ka-52 attack helicopter. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
US charges trio for smuggling electronics to Russia’s military

A court in Brooklyn (New York, USA) has indicted a US citizen and two Canadian nationals of Russian origin for smuggling electronic components to Russia, according to the US Department of Justice.

According to court documents, Nikolay Goltsev, 37, Kristina Puzyreva, 32 (Canadian nationals of Russian origin living in Montreal, Canada), and Salimdzhon Nasriddinov, 52, a citizen of Russia and Tajikistan who lives in the United States, are charged with smuggling, conspiracy to violate sanctions, and conspiracy to commit fraud.

A criminal complaint unsealed by the court in Brooklyn on 30 October charged Nikolay Goltsev, Salimdzhon Nasriddinov, and Kristina Puzyreva with conspiracy and “other charges related to a global procurement scheme on behalf of sanctioned Russian entities, including companies affiliated with the Russian military.”

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Nasriddinov was arrested in Brooklyn, while Goltsev and Puzyreva were arrested in a hotel in New York City when they came to visit their accomplice. Brooklyn prosecutors demanded that the defendants be taken into custody pending trial.

According to US investigators, Nasriddinov, Goltsev, and Puzyreva used two corporate entities registered in Brooklyn (namely SH Brothers Inc. and SN Electronics Inc.) to illegally supply, purchase, and ship dual-use electronic components to sanctioned Russian companies based in Russia.

“As alleged, the defendants evaded sanctions, shipping equipment to Russia vital for their precision-guided weapons systems, some of which have been used on the battlefield in Ukraine,” Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, stated. “Individuals and companies in the Eastern District should know that our Office will use all tools available to prosecute those who evade sanctions to aid hostile nation states,” Peace added.

Within one year, Nasriddinov, Goltsev, and Puzyreva organized the shipment of more than 300 consignments of “critical technologies for the Russian military’s advanced weapons systems worth about $10 million” from the US to Russia, according to Ivan J. Arvelo, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations, New York.

“The defendants allegedly were part of a global procurement scheme designed to evade US sanctions and export controls. This case, once again, shows the willingness of Russia to ignore the laws of the United States, using illegal procurement networks to provide for their military. FBI New York and our partners will hold anyone attempting to procure sanctioned equipment accountable in the criminal justice system in order to protect our national security,” James Smith, Assistant Director-in-Charge (FBI) said.

Some of the electronic components and integrated circuits imported into Russia through the organized scheme were later found in Russian military equipment on the battlefield in Ukraine, including Torn-MDM radio reconnaissance complex, the RB-301B Borisoglebsk-2 electronic warfare complex, the Izdeliye 305E light multi-purpose guided missile, the Vitebsk L370 airborne counter missile system, Ka-52 attack helicopters, Orlan-10 reconnaissance drones, and T-72B3 main battle tanks.

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Under the scheme, Nikolay Goltsev received orders from Russian companies to purchase goods in the US and then, using a pseudonym, communicated with American manufacturers and suppliers. After that, Salimdzhon Nasriddinov and Nikolay Goltsev shipped the purchased goods to various intermediary companies (including those in Türkiye, China, India, and the United Arab Emirates). The intermediary companies then transported the sanctioned goods to Russia. Kristina Puzyreva managed numerous bank accounts and carried out financial transactions as part of the scheme.


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