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Two Kansas men illegally sold aircraft equipment to Russia, US says


Two Kansas men were arrested Thursday on federal charges of violating U.S. export laws by selling aviation-related technology to Russia, the Justice Department said.

The men, Cyril Gregory Buyanovsky, 59, of Lawrence, Kan., and Douglas Edward Robertson, 55, of Olathe, Kan., owned and operated KanRus Trading Company, which supplied aircraft-installed electronics to businesses Russians and provided equipment repair services. used in Russian-made aircraft.

The program, which also included repairing equipment, was already illegal when it began in 2020, the Justice Department said in a statement. But it was discovered as the United States has cracked down on illegal exports to Russia since it invaded Ukraine a year ago.

After the February 2022 invasion, the men continued to export Wester avionics, or electronics that includes communications, navigation, flight control, and threat detection systems, without seeking or obtaining a license from the US Department of Commerce.

Mr. Buyanovsky, president and owner of the company, and Mr. Robertson, a commercial pilot who helped operate the company, each face 13 counts, including conspiracy, exporting controlled goods without license, tampering with and failure to file electronic export information. , and the smuggling of goods contrary to U.S. law.

The maximum sentences for each count range from five to 20 years in prison. It was unclear whether the men had legal representation.

In a November 2020 incident detailed in the indictment, Mr. Buyanovsky listed the value of a computer component as $100 on an invoice, when the actual value of the transaction was $10,950.

In January 2021, Robertson quoted a customer $28,769 for repairs to equipment, but the shipping label and invoice understated the repaired equipment at $2,275.

Mr Robertson told a client in 2022 that an invoice should show a transaction under $50,000 to avoid “more paperwork and visibility”.

“Now is NOT the right time for either,” Mr. Robertson said in an email, according to the indictment.

Mr. Buyanovsky and Mr. Robertson arranged for the goods to be shipped to “transshipment points” in Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Cyprus and Armenia to conceal Russia as the final destination, according to the act of charge.

The United States has imposed a wide range of sanctions against Russia since the invasion of Ukraine, including cutting off Russia’s biggest banks, imposing trade restrictions and cutting technology sales. The Justice Department’s KleptoCapture task force, which led the investigation into KanRus, lobbied to enforce the sanctions and export controls imposed on Russia.

“The task force will continue to leverage all of the department’s tools and authorities to combat efforts to evade or undermine the collective actions taken by the U.S. government in response to Russian military aggression,” the department said. of Justice.

nytimes Gt

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