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US charges two Russian-Canadians, US citizen with sanctions-evading electronics shipments to Russia

Two Russian-Canadian nationals and a Brooklyn resident have been arrested in Manhattan on charges related to illegally exporting electronics to entities associated with Moscow’s military, as alleged $10 million exports violated US sanctions against Russia. The trio used two Brooklyn-based companies as intermediaries to facilitate these shipments.
Destroyed Russian Orlan drone. Credit: Ukraine’s General Staff
US charges two Russian-Canadians, US citizen with sanctions-evading electronics shipments to Russia

Two Russian-Canadian individuals, Nikolay Goltsev, 37, and Kristina Puzyreva, 32 from Montreal, found themselves facing charges in a case involving alleged activities aimed at evading sanctions and acquiring crucial electronic components for Moscow’s military efforts in Ukraine, the Globe and Mail reports.

Their arrest unfolded in Manhattan on 31 October while they were in New York, coincidentally visiting their co-defendant, Salimdzhon Nasriddinov, 52, a Brooklyn resident. None of the allegations have been proven in court so far.

“As alleged, the defendants evaded sanctions, shipping equipment to Russia vital for their precision-guided weapons systems, some of which has been used on the battlefield in Ukraine,” Breon Peace, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.

Yevgeny Gershman, a US Department of Homeland Security special agent, alleged in an affidavit and criminal complaint filed in support of the application for arrest warrants that Goltsev, Puzyreva, and Nasriddinov illegally exported millions of dollars of electronics to Russian entities – including Moscow’s military-affiliated companies – in violation of sanctions implemented following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The affidavit said Mr. Goltsev and Ms. Puzyreva are married and are dual Russian-Canadian nationals. Goltsev was also an account manager and purchasing co-ordinator for Montreal-based Electronic Network, Inc. company, which was added to the US sanction list in winter 2023 for alleged support of Russia’s war effort in Ukraine.

The defendants sent over 300 shipments over a year valued at US $10 million, comprising items that ended up on the battlefield, according to a statement by Ivan J. Arvelo, special agent in charge of US Homeland Security investigations.

To facilitate their exports to Russia and buy electronics from US manufacturers, the trio used two Brooklin-registered companies, SH Brothers and SN Electronics. The supplied items are vital for Moscow due to “their critical role in the production of advanced Russian precision-guided weapons systems, Russia’s lack of domestic production, and limited global manufacturers,” the arrest affidavit said, according to The Globe and Mail.

The affidavit noted that electronics matching the make, model, and part number sent by SH Brothers were discovered in various Russian military equipment seized by Ukraine, including the Izdeliye 305E guided missile, Ka-52 helicopters, Orlan drones, and T-72B3 battle tanks.

These charges are part of a broader effort across Western countries to combat sanctions circumvention related to Russia. It is also suggested that the accused individuals might have violated Canadian sanctions laws as they apply to citizens worldwide.

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