15:13 GMT28 July 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US government has charged five individuals for conspiring to unlawfully export thermal imaging rifle scopes and night-vision goggles without a license to Russia, the Justice Department said on Monday.

    "According to court documents, Elena Shifrin, 59, of Mundelein, Illinois, and Vladimir Pridacha, 55, of Volo, Illinois, were arrested June 17 for their roles in a nearly four-year scheme in which the defendants purchased dozens of thermal imaging devices, most of which cost between $5,000 and $10,000," the department said in a press release. "The other three defendants named in the indictment are: Boris Polosin, 45, of Russia; Vladimir Gohman, 52, of Israel; and Igor Panchernikov, 39, an Israeli national."

    The defendants allegedly obtained many of the items using aliases, falsely assuring the sellers that they would not export the items from the United States. The thermal imaging devices were then exported to co-conspirators in Russia using aliases and false addresses to conceal their activities, the Justice Department said.

    “As alleged, the defendants hid the thermal imaging devices among other non-export-controlled items when exporting them to Russia, and they falsely stated on export declarations that the contents of their exports were non-export-controlled items with values of less than $2,500,” the release explained.

    All five defendants are charged with conspiring to violate the Arms Export Control Act and face up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted. They are also accused of conspiring to smuggle thermal imaging devices from the United States and file false export information to conceal their activities, the Justice Department said.

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