A Connecticut-made high-precision grinding machine system, banned from export to Russia due to its potential application in nuclear proliferation and defense programs, was intercepted in Latvia before being shipped to Russia. A superseding indictment charging a number of European individuals and businesses was unsealed in the Connecticut District on Tuesday, naming Eriks Mamonovs, 33, Vadims Ananics, 46, and Janis Uzbalis, 46, who were arrested in Riga, Latvia on Tuesday, while Ukrainian Stanislav Romanyuk, 37, was arrested in Tallinn, Estonia on June 13. The indictment alleges that they conspired to violate US export laws and regulations to smuggle a jig grinder into Russia. The machines “can be used for nefarious purposes, including in defense applications to make weapons of war,” said Matthew Millhollin, New England Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent. All are currently detained and the United States is seeking their extradition. “The power and precision of American technology should not be used by the Kremlin war machine,” said Andrew Adams, director of the KleptoCapture task force. The indictment is just one of two after an entire network was busted supplying military technology to Russia, some of which ended up on the battlefields of Ukraine.
Read it on U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut