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Russia expects explanations from USA over detention of Russian national in third country

July 09, 2014, 17:21 UTC+3

Russian citizen Roman Seleznyov, whom the US suspects of cybercrime and personal data theft has been detained in the Maldives and is in custody on the US island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

© ITAR-TASS/Valery Sharifulin

MOSCOW, July 9. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia expects explanations from the United States over the detention of a Russian national in a third country, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov stated on Wednesday.

Detention of Roman Seleznyov

Son of State Duma lawmaker Valery Seleznyov representing the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), Russian citizen Roman Seleznyov, whom the US suspects of cybercrime and personal data theft is in custody on the US island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean, Western District of Washington Assistant US Attorney, Todd Greenberg, reported on Tuesday, July 8.

It was the first time that the 30-year-old Russian charged with stealing and trading credit card data faced the court in Guam, he said. The judge’s verdict was to keep Seleznyov in custody. The next court hearing is scheduled for July 22.

The case is being scrutinized by special departments for cyber-and financial crime of the US Secret Service and Department of Justice, as well as Washington Attorney.

On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service announced Seleznyov had been detained on Saturday, July 5. According to the investigators, he is registered as Moscow resident and known among hackers as Track2.

Seleznyov is suspected of having stolen and sold data about the US citizens’ credit cards from October 2009 to February 2011. For these purposes, he had hacked the US retail payment systems using malicious software, the investigators said. Seleznyov allegedly controlled several servers worldwide, created and maintained a number of special forums to sell the stolen information.

In March 2011, Washington court pressed 29 charges in absentia that may lead to Seleznyov's several-decade imprisonment and million-dollar fines. Besides, Nevada initiated a criminal case on suspicion of participating in a criminal group of blackmailers.

Seleznyov and other transnational criminals had inflicted considerable harm to the US financial infrastructure, which should not be underestimated, said director of the Secret Service Julia Pierson. The service set up under the Department of Finance traditionally deals with financial crimes along with guarding higher-ups.

According to the Department of Justice’s estimates, credit card swindle does the US financial institutions an annual damage of $40 billion.

The US Attorney for the Western District of Washington, Jenny Durkan, said on Monday the detained citizen remained a suspect and the presumption of innocence would remain in force until and if the charges were convincingly confirmed in court.


Russian lawmaker confirms his son has been arrested in the Maldives

State Duma member representing the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR)  Valery Seleznyov has confirmed his son Roman had been detained by US secret service in the Maldives.

“I am now in negotiations with the Russian Foreign Ministry. Kidnapping is a crime,” he told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday. “The country must protect its citizens, and Roman should go back to Russia.”

The lawmaker expressed outrage by the fact that the USA “took the liberty to kidnap a person in the Maldives and without any body of evidence to bring him to the USA and arrest”.

“At present, it is the same for me whether Roman Seleznyov is guilty or not. But if American authorities had real evidence of his implication in the crime, they should have brought some charges through the Maldives’ court,” the MP stated, stressing that “no one had the right to take him anywhere without the sanction issued by the Maldives’ court”. “And here many questions to law enforcement agencies of the Maldives arise,” Seleznyov said.

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