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Moscow to defend Russian arrested in U.S. over visa fraud scheme -1

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Russia will protect the interests and rights of a Russian national arrested in the United States Monday on suspicion of organizing a fraudulent visa scheme, the Foreign Ministry said.
(Recasts, adds background in paras 4-5)

MOSCOW, August 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will protect the interests and rights of a Russian national arrested in the United States Monday on suspicion of organizing a fraudulent visa scheme, the Foreign Ministry said.

Vyacheslav Manokhin, a UN translator, was arrested in New York and is accused of helping non-U.S. citizens enter the country illegally by providing fraudulent documents allowing them to obtain visas.

"Russia's Consulate General in New York is taking steps to find out the fate of Vyacheslav Manokhin, and is seeking permission to meet with him," the ministry said Tuesday. "It is ready to ensure the protection of the Russian citizen's legal rights and interests."

The translator allegedly helped people obtain visas by providing documents falsely showing they were to attend non-governmental organization meetings. The Russian Foreign Ministry said Manokhin had never been its employee.

Under the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, a UN Secretariat official said, the secretary general removed Manokhin's diplomatic immunity on July 27 after an inquiry ordered by U.S. authorities.

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