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Russian Foreign Ministry presents diplomatic action over Seleznyov, Yaroshenko cases

July 14, 2014, 20:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Seleznyov was detained at the international airport of the Maldives’ capital Male on July 5

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© AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel

MOSCOW, July 14. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has presented a diplomatic action to the American Embassy in Moscow on Monday, July 14, in connection with the charges brought against Russian citizens Roman Seleznyov and Konstantin Yaroshenko in the United States.

“Today I presented a demarche to the minister-counselor of the US Embassy in Moscow in connection with the Roman Seleznyov and Konstantin Yaroshenko cases,” Russian Foreign Ministry’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law Konstantin Dolgov told ITAR-TASS.

Seleznyov was detained at the international airport of the Maldives’ capital Male on July 5. On the same day he was “forced aboard a private plane by US security service agents and taken to the island of Guam”, the Foreign Ministry said earlier.

American investigators suspect Seleznyov of having intended to steal, and then sell, information about the credit cards of US citizens between October 2009 and February 2011. In March 2011, a court in the State of Washington charged him in absentia on 29 counts, which jointly entail imprisonment for several dozen years and a fine of several million U.S. dollars.

In addition, a criminal case was filed against him in Nevada on suspicion of association with a criminal group that was engaged in extortion.

The Russian Foreign Ministry regards this “as yet another unfriendly step by Washington” and is waiting for its explanations.

Yaroshenko was arrested in Liberia in May 2010 and then stealthily taken to the United States. American prosecutors said Yaroshenko and his African associates had acted in collusion that involved several countries and aimed to deliver millions of US dollars’ worth of narcotic drugs from South America to Liberia, which served as a transshipment point, and then to other countries, including the United States.

In April 2011, a US court sentenced Yaroshenko to 20 years in prison for having been allegedly involved in a criminal ring organised for smuggling a large shipment of cocaine. Moscow believes that these charges are doubtful.

Yaroshenko is serving his term in Fort Dix Prison in New Jersey.

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