A Brooklyn resident and two Russian-Canadian nationals are accused of working with sanctioned Russian entities to ship millions of dollars of equipment to Russia that was later found in seized Russian equipment and in signals intelligence equipment in Ukraine.
Nikolay Goltsev, Salimdzhon Nasriddinov and Kristina Puzyreva have been charged with conspiracy and other charges in connection with the global procurement scheme on behalf of sanctioned Russian entities, including some affiliated with the Russian Military, prosecutors from the US Attorneys office in the Eastern District of New York said.
“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,” US Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement.
“These defendants are alleged to have illegally exported millions of dollars in electronics to support the Kremlin in its ongoing attacks of Ukraine,” added Ivan J. Arvelo, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in New York.
Nasriddinov, a Brooklyn resident and dual citizen of Russia and Tajikistan, was arrested Tuesday morning in New York City. Goltsev and Puzyreva, who are both dual Russian-Canadian nationals, were arrested by authorities at a hotel in New York City Tuesday morning.
Prosecutors say the scheme was carried out using two corporate entities registered in the US, with the trio using one of them, SH Brothers, to make “hundreds of shipments valued at over $7 million to Russia.” The equipment was used in a variety of weapons, according to prosecutors, including missiles, helicopters and battle tanks.
“Goltsev and Nasriddinov were aware that the electronics being shipped had potential military applications,” prosecutors wrote in court documents. “In a February 23, 2023 message, Nasriddinov wrote to Goltsev, ‘Happy Defender of the Fatherland,’ referring to the holiday in Russia and parts of the former Soviet Union celebrating those who served in the armed forces.”
They continued: “Nasriddinov attached to the message a screenshot showing activity in an SH Brothers bank account. Goltsev responded, ‘happy holiday to you too my friend, we are defending it in the way that we can [smile emoji].’”
The defendants are expected to be arraigned after Tuesday afternoon in Brooklyn, prosecutors said.
CNN is attempting to reach attorneys for the three defendants.
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