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US Suspects 7 Finnish Companies of Smuggling Microelectronics to Russia

US Suspects 7 Finnish Companies of Smuggling Microelectronics to Russia 09.10.2012
Text: Vzglyad
Photo: Alexander Fishenko.
American authorities suspect seven Finnish companies and four individuals of smuggling microelectronics to Russia which can be used for military purposes.

Those companies and individuals became involved in the scandal aroused after disclosure of a criminal scheme led by Alexander Fishenko and handed over newest technologies to Russian defense ministry, particularly, Russian Navy, reports Interfax referring to Finland's financial reporter Talouselämä.

According to American prosecutors, illegal transactions made via Finnish representatives are evaluated as dozens of billion dollars. Some products were delivered to Russia via Finland without appropriate license and under forgery papers.

Although the Finnish individuals and organizations are not suspected in the crime, they may have problems in dealings with American authorities, reports the Finnish source.

The Finnish companies fell into America's 'blacklist' are primarily specialized in logistics and cargo traffic between Finland and Russia. They are based in Vantaa, Helsinki, and Lappeenranta.

As was reported by Vzglyad newspaper, Brooklyn procuracy charged eleven persons of military espionage for Russia last Wednesday in New York. According to prosecutors, the group headed by 46 y.o. Alexander Fishenko, director of Russo-American company Arc Electronic used to sell high-tech microelectronics to Russian military agencies and special services. In particular, hardware of that kind is used in radars, surveillance systems, and detonators.

Export of such products from the US is prohibited as they can be used for military purposes and are under special control. Prosecutors say Russians had arranged the following scheme. Via company named Apex, they allegedly delivered spare parts for MiG-35 aircraft to Russia. According to US Department of Justice, they had been exporting microelectronics at least since Oct 2008.

Being charged of espionage, Alexander Fishenko and other six persons faced the Houston court.

According to media reports, microelectronics illegally exported to Russia was meant for Russian Navy, in particular, antisubmarine systems. Moreover, it was reported that American electronics forwarded to Russia had already improved technological capabilities of Russian armed forces.

In addition, the US blacklisted other 165 companies and individuals involved in the technology smuggling to Russia.

That blacklist contains 119 Russian legal entities and persons. Particularly, there are several companies having "Apex" in their names. The list also includes such companies as MIG Engineering (MIG Electronics), Forward Electronics, Incorporated Electronics System, ECO-MED-SM, as well as individuals and companies based in Canada, Germany, Kazakhstan, Belize, Sweden, the UK, Hong Kong, Greece, Finland, and Estonia.

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