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US alleges Russian spy ring stole US tech

A smuggling network is accused of exporting US-made microelectronic components to Russian military and spy agencies.

Kremlin chief of staff sergei ivanovEnlarge
Kremlin Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov (R) listens to Director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Bortnikov during a meeting, held by the Russian Interior Ministry board, in Moscow, on Feb. 10, 2012. (Sergei Karpukhin/AFP/Getty Images)

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov denied allegations Thursday of a Russian spy network operating in the US with the intent to illegally export microelectronics to Russia.

In an unsealed indictment the Bureau of Industry and Security US Department of Commerce stated that since approximately October 2008, 11 alleged participants, including companies based in Moscow, Houston and Texas, worked to smuggle a variety of military systems technology.

The indictment read:

"An indictment was unsealed today in United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York charging 11 members of a Russian military procurement network operating in the United States and Russia, as well as a Texas-based export company and a Russia-based procurement firm, with illegally exporting high-tech microelectronics from the United States to Russian military and intelligence agencies."

Responding to the allegations, Ryabkov said, "A lot is unclear in the story, and it raises serious concerns. We expect the rights and interests of Russian citizens who remain under arrest … to be protected by US authorities," RIA-Novosti reported.

Loretta Lynch, A US attorney in Brooklyn, issued a statement on Wednesday: "The defendants tried to take advantage of America's free markets to steal American technologies for the Russian government. As alleged in the indictment, the defendants spun an elaborate web of lies to evade the laws that protect our national security."

One suspect, Alexander Posobilov, is a naturalized US citizen. He was, according to CNN, arrested at George Bush International Airport in Houston on Tuesday.

According to MSN, the court documents show a company known as Arc Electronics tried to acquire "US-made technology for Russian government agencies, including the Russian armed forces and Russia's principal domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Security Service or FSB."

The court documents show APEX, another company under investigation, of "falsifying reports to circumvent US customs," ThinkProgress reports.

The US has not arrested all suspected participants. According to CNN, 3 suspects are at large in Russia.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/121004/us-alleges-russian-spy-ring-stole-us-tech