Virtual Event: Threat Detection and Incident Response Summit - Watch Sessions
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Moscow Accuses Washington of ‘Abducting Russian MP’s Son’

MOSCOW – Moscow on Tuesday accused Washington of abducting the son of a Russian lawmaker who was arrested in the Maldives on suspicion of being one of the world’s most prolific traffickers of stolen credit card details.

MOSCOW – Moscow on Tuesday accused Washington of abducting the son of a Russian lawmaker who was arrested in the Maldives on suspicion of being one of the world’s most prolific traffickers of stolen credit card details.

A Russian legislator, who admitted to being the suspect’s father, expressed fear that Roman Seleznev, who is being held in the American territory of Guam, will be accused of all sorts of sins including “killing Kennedy.”

The case further piqued Russian anger amid a bitter tug of war with Washington over the fate of ex-Soviet Ukraine.

The US Justice Department said on Monday that Seleznev, 30, had been detained at the weekend and charged with hacking into US retail computer systems in a scheme that cost banks over $1.1 million (800,000 euros)in losses.

He faces up to 30 years in prison.

A US law enforcement source confirmed to AFP the suspect is the son of the Russian MP.

Russian lawmaker Valery Seleznev accused Washington of committing a crime against his son and said there was no evidence he was a hacker.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“This is the abduction of a Russian national. It has nothing to do with arrest,” the lawmaker with the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party told the Dozhd TV channel.

He said his son could not have been a criminal because he was injured in a terrorist act in Morocco in 2011 and was now disabled. According to US officials, the suspect, who is charged with installing malicious software to steal credit card numbers, operated the scheme between October 2009 and February 2011.

He and his partners stole over 200,000 credit card numbers, according to US officials. Valery Seleznev said that before 2011 his son worked for companies that had no connection to IT.

“I fear that now he will be put under so much pressure as if he killed Kennedy and even was Monica Lewinsky,” Valery Seleznev told the state news agency ITAR-TASS. “We all know what justice in the United States is all about,” he said, noting that if his son was guilty he should be tried in a Russian court.

‘Hostile step’

The Russian foreign ministry said Seleznev’s detention in Male, the capital of the Maldives, was a “hostile step”, adding that Russian diplomatic missions had not been notified of his arrest.

“It is not the first time that the US side resorts to the de-facto abduction of a Russian national ignoring the bilateral 1999 treaty on mutual legal assistance,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

It referred to a number of cases including the arrest of Viktor Bout, convicted of arms trafficking by a US court.

The foreign ministry added it expected Washington to provide Moscow with an “intelligible explanation of what has happened” and allow access to Seleznev.

Moscow also demanded that the Maldives government provide an explanation of their role.

“The position of the Maldivian authorities who despite existing international legal norms allowed the security service of another state to abduct a Russian national and take him outside the country cannot but cause indignation,” said the statement.

The Kremlin-linked Public Chamber accused the US of “banditry and lawlessness,” while the foreign ministry’s rights envoy, Konstantin Dolgov, said Russia will seek Seleznev’s extradition.

“Unfortunately, there is now a veritable hunt after Russian nationals,” he said on radio.

If convicted, the Russian could face up to 30 years in prison on bank fraud charges and additional jail time for the other charges, as well as hefty fines.

He faces a separate criminal indictment in Nevada on racketeering charges.

In April, US officials said nine people including a Russian and three Ukrainians, were charged in a scheme that stole millions of dollars by hacking into online bank accounts.

Written By

AFP 2023

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

SecurityWeek’s Threat Detection and Incident Response Summit brings together security practitioners from around the world to share war stories on breaches, APT attacks and threat intelligence.


Securityweek’s CISO Forum will address issues and challenges that are top of mind for today’s security leaders and what the future looks like as chief defenders of the enterprise.


Expert Insights

Related Content


The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.


Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group informed some customers last week that their online accounts had been breached by hackers.


As it evolves, web3 will contain and increase all the security issues of web2 – and perhaps add a few more.


A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...


Satellite TV giant Dish Network confirmed that a recent outage was the result of a cyberattack and admitted that data was stolen.


Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.

Artificial Intelligence

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.

Artificial Intelligence

The degree of danger that may be introduced when adversaries start to use AI as an effective weapon of attack rather than a tool...