Serbian Criminals Helped Son of Russian Governor Flee Italy Arrest

A Serbian criminal gang assisted a Kremlin-connected businessman convicted of smuggling American military technology to Russia to escape from house arrest in Italy.

The day after an Italian court granted his extradition to the United States, Artyom Uss, 41, the son of the former governor of Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk district, managed to flee. He is accused of exporting “powerful” American military technology illegally and could spend up to 30 years in prison in the United States.

The Russian security services may have helped Uss, according to Italian media at the time. According to a WSJ report, Italian authorities “would have known” about the direct involvement of Russian intelligence.

Instead, assisted by “a gang of Serbian criminals,” Uss avoided Italian police by switching cars and traveling over several borders until arriving in Serbia,

He’s thought to have traveled from Serbia to Moscow.

According to WSJ, Uss is the eighth individual who has evaded house detention in Italy and is sought for extradition to the U.S. in the previous three years.

The three Italian judges who had imposed house arrest on the businessman reportedly disregarded the U.S. Justice Department’s request to hold Uss in custody.

Italian intelligence had not kept Uss under surveillance because of worries about improperly interfering with a legal case even though he was under house arrest and wore an electronic ankle monitor.

Uss might have received assistance from a “network of accomplices” linked to Russia’s secret services, according to an article published in Italy’s La Reppublica daily in late March.

Uss was one of five Russians detained in Milan’s Malpensa Airport in October 2022 at the request of Washington.

The businessman is also accused of breaking sanctions and money laundering; he denies these allegations and asked to be turned over to Russian authorities as part of a criminal prosecution that was quickly closed after his return.

Due to their shared Slavic and Orthodox Christian roots, Serbia and Russia have close political, military, and economic relations, and Moscow opposed Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence.

Despite having plans to join the EU, Belgrade has declined to participate in Western sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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