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2 Americans arrested for allegedly smuggling aviation technology to Russia

Two US nationals were arrested in Kansas City on Thursday for allegedly sending US aviation technology to Russia, the Justice Department announced.

Cyril Gregory Buyanovsky, 59, and Douglas Robertson, 55, are facing several charges, including exporting controlled goods without a license, falsifying and failing to file electronic export information, and smuggling goods contrary to US law.

Their arrest is the most recent move by the Justice Department’s Task Force KleptoCapture, made up of federal prosecutors, investigators and analysts, which has worked for the past year to wage a global campaign against money laundering and sanctions evasion in support of the Russian government.

Its work has resulted in over 30 indictments against sanctioned supporters of the Kremlin and Russian military, according to the Justice Department.

The two men’s US-based KanRus Trading Company sold and installed Western electronic equipment for airplanes, according to prosecutors, and allegedly sold equipment to Russian companies and provided repair services for Russian aircrafts. To get around US sanctions, prosecutors say Buyanovsky and Robertson concealed who their clients were, lied about how much products cost and were paid through foreign bank accounts.

After Russia’s war in Ukraine began last year, the US government imposed additional sanctions on shipments to Russia.

Buyanovsky and Robertson discussed their options for continuing to send shipments to at least one client in Russia, prosecutors say, including by sending shipments through third-party countries.

A KanRus shipment in February 2022 was flagged by the Department of Commerce because it did not have the proper licensing, according to the indictment.

Soon after, Robertson, who is a commercial pilot, allegedly told a Russia-based client that “things are complicated in the USA” and that invoices needed to be less than $50,000 because otherwise there would be “more paperwork and visibility.”

adding that “this is NOT the right time for either.” A shipment to that Russian client was later sent through Laos, prosecutors say.

Prevail Inegbenose

Prevail Inegbenose is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Spark Media & Entertainment Ventures, the Publisher of Spark News Daily - Nigeria's most sought-after online newspaper in Government, Politics, Sport, Entertainment and Religion. Prevail Inegbenose studied Mass Communication from the prestigious Auchi Polytechnic Auchi and graduated in 2007. He is an experienced journalist with 16 years of active and practical journalism. Prevail Inegbenose is the Lead Pastor, House of God Int'l - Rest Tabernacle, Abuja - Nigeria. Tel: 08039564796.

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