Andsource A Russian detained in Germany in Moscow was given a measure of restraint in absentia. The Meshchansky Court of Moscow arrested businessman Yuri Orekhov in absentia. He is a defendant in a criminal case on money laundering. Orekhov was recently detained in Germany as part of a US investigation into five Russians, including Artyom Uss, son of Krasnoyarsk governor Alexander Uss. A New York court brought charges against them for smuggling oil, exporting military technology from the US through front companies, and money laundering. Arrest in absentia of Mr. Orekhov will allow Russia to send a request for the extradition of the businessman to his homeland.
By the decision of the Meshchansky Court of the capital, Yuri Orekhov was arrested for two months. Since the investigation's request for his placement in custody was considered in absentia, the period of arrest will be calculated from the moment Mr. Orekhov was detained in Russia or extradited to his homeland.
Yuri Orekhov is charged with committing a crime under paragraphs “a” and “b” of Part 2 of Art. 174 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (legalization (laundering) of funds or other property acquired by other persons in a criminal way as part of an organized group on an especially large scale).
According to Kommersant, a criminal case was initiated by the Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs back in 2020, and then materials against various defendants began to be separated from it into a separate proceeding. The matter in question is the legalization of funds by an organized group, and the amount imputed to the defendants can be several tens of millions of rubles. It was not possible to contact Yury Orekhov's lawyer “Kommersant” on Wednesday.
Earlier it became known that the US authorities filed charges of sanctions evasion and money laundering against five citizens of the Russian Federation, as well as two oil traders from Venezuela. According to the statement of the US Department of Justice, Russians Yuri Orekhov, Artem Uss, Svetlana Kuzurgasheva, Timofey Telegin and Sergei Tulyakov, as well as Juan Fernando Serrano Ponce and Juan Carlos Soto, have been charged.
According to the FBI, the co-founders of NDA GmbH (trades in industrial equipment) Artem Uss and Yuri Orekhov, as well as the heads of three Russian companies Timofey Telegin, Sergey Tulyakov and Svetlana Kuzurgasheva, were engaged in illegal activities in the United States from January 2018 to September 2022. As Kommersant previously told, based on the materials collected by the US intelligence agency, a judge for the Eastern District of New York brought charges against the Russians and two oil traders from Venezuela who collaborated with them on 12 counts. Artem Uss was arrested in Italy on October 17 at the request of the United States, and his business partner was arrested in Germany at the same time. . A similar process is ahead of Yuri Orekhov.
The remaining three Russians, who are accused by American law enforcement officers, are now at home, and one of them is a defendant in a criminal case on fraud with budget funds.
From the decision of the American court, it follows that Artem Uss and Yuri Orekhov, through their German company, they organized a number of multi-way combinations related to the supply of oil to Russia and China from Venezuela, which is under sanctions, the theft of US military technology, and the laundering of millions of dollars obtained by criminal means.
“To hide the fact that the ships were carrying oil that originated in Venezuela, referred to under the code word Disneyland, the tankers had to turn off the GPS signal, and the name of the vessel should not appear in any documents and be referred only to “barge”. As part of the scheme, Yuri Orekhov regularly informed the defendant Artem Uss about the transactions of NDA GmbH with PDVSA,” the investigation materials say. According to the documents, the cargo passed as products, in particular, “whole green peas or rice.” As for the purchase of military or dual-use products, according to the Americans, the fact that Russian firms cooperating with the domestic defense complex purchase chips and semiconductors from American companies in circumvention of sanctions appeared in the secret services back in 2016.
Moreover, as noted in the materials of the investigation, for a long time there were no claims against the company of Artem Uss and Yuri Orekhov due to the fact that Russian companies almost never appeared as final purchasers of military or dual-use products.
After the Russians were detained abroad, the Russian investigation became more active. Artem Uss was arrested in absentia by the same Meshchansky Court of the capital at the end of October. Now the same measure of restraint has been chosen for Yuriy Orekhov. These court decisions make it possible to require the authorities of Italy and Germany to extradite both businessmen to their homeland. However, practice shows that preference in such cases is given to the initiators of the search, and not to the other party involved in it.