MOSCOW, July 9 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is taking all possible measures to prevent the story of Russian citizen Roman Seleznev, recently detained in Maldives, from repeating that of his compatriot Victor Bout, who is serving a prison sentence in the US, the ministry’s Commissioner for Human Rights Konstantin Dolgov told RIA Novosti Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, the chances are high that the situation will develop this way; that is why we are doing everything we can to prevent it,” Dolgov said.
The official added that the Russian Foreign Ministry has contacted US authorities about the issue.
“We are working on making our position heard. Our stance is very clear, we brought it to [the US authorities], and firmly at that. We will now wait for their reaction,” Dolgov stated.
A 30-year-old Russian citizen, Roman Seleznev was arrested on July 5, in an airport in the Maldives. Seleznev was taken to the US island of Guam, where he appeared in court on Monday. The ensuing hearings are to be held on July 22.
Roman is the son of Valeriy Seleznev, a lawmaker from Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR). The elder Seleznev confirmed Tuesday that his son has been detained by US secret services.
US authorities have accused Roman Seleznev of hacking into point-of-sale systems at a number of US shops to steal credit card data from customers. The Russian citizen faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of bank fraud, while the other charges also carry significant sentences.
Tuesday, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested that the Maldivian government explain the situation, calling the incident an unfriendly move by the US and a de facto kidnapping.