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US did not officially notify Russia of arrest of its citizen in Thailand

July 21, 13:39 UTC+3
The police of Thailand have arrested at the request of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Russian citizen Dmitry Ukrainsky
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© EPA/DIEGO AZUBEL

MOSCOW, July 21. /TASS/. The Russian authorities will defend the legal rights and interests of the Russian citizen who has been detained in Thailand at the request of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Russian Foreign Ministry’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law Konstantin Dolgov told TASS on Thursday.

"The arrested citizen, Dmitry Ukrainsky, is charged with money laundering, but the Russian side knows nothing about this," he said. "The American authorities have not officially notified us of their claims."

The diplomat said that "it’s another egregious example of extraterritorial application of American law." "The American authorities continue this absolutely unacceptable practice", Dolgov said.

"We will provide consular and legal support to him," Dolgov said. "Our embassy in Thailand is making energetic efforts in this regard. We’ll be monitoring the situation and maintain contact with the authorities of Thailand". We’ll defend his legal rights and interests", Dolgov said.

Earlier on Thursday, the Russian embassy in Bangkok confirmed the fact of the Russian citizen’s arrest in Thailand on the FBI request. Ukrainsky is accused of stealing money from the US citizens’ credit cards. He has flatly denied his guilt. "We have visited him at the detention facility," the embassy said. "He flatly denies his guilt. We are now expecting them to give us the full documentation on the Russian citizen’s case. We have sent the corresponding request to the Thai side".

Meanwhile, Thailand’s newspaper the Nation reported on Thursday that the Thai police have arrested at the FBI Russian citizen Dmitry Ukrainsky, 44, and citizen of Uzbekistan Olga Komova, 25, who are suspected of stealing $28.5 million from bank accounts of citizens of several countries. Tourist Police Commander Pol Maj Gen Surachet Hakpal said that the Russian man was arrested in Pattaya where he has been running several firms renting yachts to tourists. The Uzbekistani woman was arrested at a hotel on Koh Chang where she has been working, the publication says.

Surachet said the two suspects were engaged in sending malware to emails of their victims and the malware sent back usernames and passwords of online bank accounts in the United States, Australia, Japan, Britain, Italy and Germany. The FBI has traced the transactions and found that they were wired to Thailand, so the FBI sought help from the Immigration Bureau to arrest the two suspects, according to the newspaper.

Russian citizens have been repeatedly arrested abroad at the request of the US law enforcement agencies and secret services. The Russian Foreign Ministry previously issued a warning to Russia’s citizens who travel abroad to carefully weigh all the risks due to the continuing unacceptable "hunt" of the United States for Russian nationals around the world. "The American authorities continue the unacceptable practice of "hunting" for Russians all over the world, ignoring the norms of international laws and twisting other states’ arms," the ministry said.

There have been more than 20 such incidents. Thus, three citizens of Russia - Maxim Senakh, Alexander Serov and Mikhail Sergeyev have been recently extradited to the United States from Finland. In 2010, a similar incident occurred with Konstantin Yaroshenko, who was seized in Liberia in 2010 and secretly - in violation of the country’s national laws and international law - taken to the United States. The same methods were used by the United States in the case with Russian businessman Viktor Bout, as well as with Roman Seleznev, who was literally abducted by the US agents from the Maldives in July 2014 and forcibly transported first to Guam, and then to Seattle, where he is still held in custody.

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