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UPDATE 1-Russia denies involvement in alleged smuggling network in US
October 4, 2012 / 8:23 AM / in 5 years

UPDATE 1-Russia denies involvement in alleged smuggling network in US

* US says it has uncovered smuggling network

* Russians charged in United States over the case

* Deputy minister says security agencies not linked to case

MOSCOW, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Russian spy agencies were not involved in an alleged smuggling network uncovered by the United States and Moscow is concerned by the espionage allegations, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday.

The U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday it had broken up an elaborate network aimed at illegally acquiring U.S.-made microelectronic components for Russian military and spy agencies.

“The charges are of a criminal nature and have nothing to do with the work of the secret services,” Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

He said the situation had caused deep concern in Russia, and Russian diplomats had met one of the accused to discuss the situation and was preparing to meet the rest.

U.S. law enforcement officials said Alexander Fishenko, charged with operating in the United States as an unregistered agent of the Russian government, and seven alleged associates were being held in custody by U.S. authorities in Houston.

Three other individuals charged in the indictment are currently in Russia, the official said. 

One of the accused, Sergei Klinov, confirmed to Interfax news agency that he was based in Russia but declined to comment on the situation. He said he had learned about it from media reports.

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