The US authorities have arrested a citizen of Belarus, Sergei Karpushkin, accused of participating in a scheme to bypass anti-Russian sanctions for $150 million, according to the US Department of Justice.
According to the department, 46-year-old Sergey Karpushkin from Miami was detained. According to the case file, he and his accomplice, Florida resident John Unsalan, participated for three years “in a scheme to circumvent American sanctions imposed on oligarch Sergei Kurchenko.” The investigation alleges that Karpushkin and Unsalan purchased $150 million worth of steelmaking materials for two “Kurchenko-related” companies.
Belarus is charged with a criminal conspiracy to circumvent or violate US sanctions. If found guilty, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
Kurchenko is a citizen of Ukraine. After the Euromaidan, he moved to Belarus and then to Moscow. The SBU claimed that Kurchenko received Russian citizenship in violation of Ukrainian law. Under President Viktor Yanukovych, he was one of the richest people in Ukraine and was considered one of the country’s largest hydrocarbon traders. The businessman fell under Western sanctions in April 2022.
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