The US Department of Justice announced the arrest of two US citizens in Kansas City for allegedly sending US aviation technology to Russia in violation of the country’s export controls.
According to the indictment, Cyril Gregory Buyanovsky (59) and Douglas Robertson (55), who own and operate KanRus Trading Company, which supplies avionics equipment that powers aircraft and provides repair services to Russian companies, are charged with conspiracy to circumvent US export laws.
The two defendants also face several charges, including exporting controlled goods without a licence, falsifying and failing to file electronic export information, and smuggling goods contrary to US law.
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If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison for each smuggling charge.
Prosecutors say that to circumvent US sanctions, Buyanovsky and Robertson concealed who their customers were, lied about the cost of the products and made payments from foreign bank accounts.
According to a statement by the Justice Department, on 28 February 2022, the defendants attempted to export avionics equipment to Russia. US authorities detained the shipment and the US Department of Commerce informed the defendants that a licence was required to export the equipment to Russia.
In a communication dated April 2022, Robertson expressed to a Russia-based customer that things were complicated in the US and that it was not the right time for more paperwork and visibility. The defendants then illegally transferred the avionics to Russia via Armenia and Cyprus in May, June and July 2022 without obtaining the necessary licences.
The United States imposed additional restrictions on avionics after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year and applied the same to other goods targeting Russia’s defence, aviation and maritime sectors.
The restrictions were later expanded to include oil refining, industry, trade and luxury goods.