Accused Russian intelligence officer extradited to US from Estonia


NEW YORK (Reuters) – An alleged Russian intelligence officer accused by the United States of smuggling U.S.-origin electronics and ammunition to Russia to help its war against Ukraine was extradited from Estonia, federal prosecutors said on Friday. 

Vadim Konoschenok is expected to make an initial appearance in federal court in Brooklyn on Friday. Prosecutors are requesting he be detained pending trial, calling him a flight risk.

Konoschenok, 48, was detained by Estonian authorities in October 2022 while trying to cross into Russia carrying 35 types of semiconductors and electronic components, some of which were subject to U.S. export controls, prosecutors said. 

He told co-conspirators in electronic communications that he charged a 10% fee for dealing in controlled items. “Can’t do less. Sanctions,” he wrote, according to prosecutors. 

Reuters could not immediately identify a U.S. lawyer for Konoschenok. 

He was initially charged last September, as U.S. authorities sought to ramp up enforcement of export controls and sanctions designed to hamper Moscow’s war effort. 

(Reporting by Luc Cohen; editing by John Stonestreet)

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