Texas businessman accused of smuggling high-tech weapons to Russia

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Texas businessman accused of smuggling high-tech weapons to Russia
A naturalized American citizen from the former Soviet Union is accused along with 10 other defendants of illegally exporting sensitive technology from the US to Russian military and intelligence agencies, according to an indictment unsealed by federal prosecutors in New York on Wednesday.

Alexander Fishenko, 46, was born in the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan and moved to the US in 1994. He founded Arc Electronics in Houston in 1998 and is also part owner of Apex System, a Moscow-based procurement firm. Both companies are also named as defendant in the indictment.

According to an FBI press release, Arc shipped approximately $50 million worth of microelectronics and other technologies to Russia over the past 10 years.

The microelectronics allegedly exported to Russia are subject to strict export controls because they can be used in radar and surveillance systems, weapons guidance systems and detonation triggers.

To obtain the technology and evade export controls, Arc allegedly provided false end-user information to suppliers and manufacturers and falsely labelled goods it exported to Russia.

Fishenko and seven other defendants were arrested on Wednesday by the FBI and Houston police. Three defendants are believed to be in Russia.

Fishenko faces a maximum term of 20 years in prison for conspiring to commit money laundering and 10 years for acting as an unregistered agent of the Russian government. His two companies face fines of up to $1.5 million.


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