A Russian living in Hong Kong has been detained in the US on charges of smuggling a large amount of American-made military technology to Russia, the US Department of Justice announced.
Maxim Marchenko, 51, and two unnamed Russian associates are accused of using his shell company to hide alleged fraudulent purchases of OLED microdisplays. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan said OLED microdisplays could be used in scopes, night vision goggles, thermal optics and other weapons systems.
Marchenko was indicted on seven criminal counts, including fraud, smuggling, money laundering and four counts of conspiracy. If convicted, he faces decades in prison.
Marchenko and his co-conspirators are accused of making false claims that the technology, which has both civilian and military applications, was sent to China, Hong Kong and elsewhere for use in electron microscopes for medical research, prosecutors said. They also say Marchenko’s company sent more than $1.6m (£1.3m) to the US to support the scheme, which ran from May 2022 to August 2023.
Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olson of the Justice Department’s National Security Division said the case “reinforces the Justice Department’s commitment to protecting American security and countering Russian aggression in Ukraine by vigorously enforcing export control and sanctions laws.”