Russian Consulate General in New York has asked the US State Department to confirm whether any Russian nationals were among the individuals detained over the alleged electronic smuggling scheme, Press Secretary Alexey Topolsky told Sputnik
WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 20th October, 2020) Russian Consulate General in New York has asked the US State Department to confirm whether any Russian nationals were among the individuals detained over the alleged electronic smuggling scheme, Press Secretary Alexey Topolsky told Sputnik.
"The Consulate General sent an official request to the US State Department to provide information if there are Russians among the detainees. According to the preliminary information, there is a Russian citizen among the indicted persons," Topolsky said. "So far, we have not received any official notifications from the American side about the detention of Russians."
On Monday, Topolsky told Sputnik that FBI agents inspected the passengers and the luggage on the Aeroflot flight from New York to Moscow a day before. The FBI agents' actions caused the flight to be delayed by one hour.
The US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York announced on Monday that the authorities charged a group of ten individuals for allegedly smuggling electronic equipment, from the United States to Russia by using couriers, many of whom were current and former Aeroflot employees. The US Attorney's Office said one of the ten individuals is a resident of Russia.
Aeroflot said on Tuesday that none of its former or current employees were on the list of smuggling suspects that was published by the US authorities.
Russia safeguards the interests of its national companies, including its flag carrier Aeroflot, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.
"I am not aware of the essence of the accusations against the Russian company, but I believe that the Russian company has the possibility to defend its interests through the established procedure ... Of course, the Russian state always safeguards the interests of our national companies," Peskov told reporters.
The United States has revoked the visas of about 113 Aeroflot employees who are alleged to have links to the smuggling scheme.