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    U.S. woman arrested on suspicion of smuggling night-vision scopes to Russia

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    A U.S. woman was detained in the United States on suspicion of smuggling state-of-the-art night-vision scopes into Russia, New York Daily News said citing court documents.

    A U.S. woman was detained in the United States on suspicion of smuggling state-of-the-art night-vision scopes into Russia, New York Daily News said citing court documents.

    Such items cannot be exported to other countries unless approved by the U.S. State Department, as they are considered to be sophisticated military components.

    Latvian-born Anna Fermanova, 24, was arrested on July 15 for "knowingly and intentionally" attempting to export defense items on the U.S. Munitions list. The scopes were confiscated when she was flying to Moscow and when she returned to the United States she was arrested.

    Scott Palmer, Fermanova's lawyer, told the Daily News the case "looks a lot worse than it really is."

    "She's a nice Jewish girl who lives with her sweet Latvian parents," he said. "There's no terrorism link. There's no espionage."

    According to court papers, a $7,000 Raptor 4X Night Vision Weapons Sight was in the blonde bombshell's suitcase and two other night-vision devices worth $4,000 each, which she had bought online for her husband's hunting companions in Russia.

    Asked if she knew taking them out of the country was illegal, she said she "signed something about that" but was "not really sure what she was signing," the court papers say.

    "They were basically buying something in the U.S. that's available in Russia but is extremely expensive," Palmer said.

    "She bought them legally. They are available for purchase on the Internet, you just need a license to export them," he continued.

    Fermanova immigrated to the United States as a child and has U.S. citizenship. The beautician and English teacher is currently studying communications at the University of Phoenix.

    The case is widely compared to Russian Anna Chapman's arrest in the United States last month on suspicion of spying for Russia.

    Chapman, 28, was among ten people who were arrested by U.S. law enforcement agencies on June 27 on suspicion of being part of an espionage ring spying for Russia. She had dual Russian-British citizenship as was previously married to a Brit. She moved to the United States in early 2010.

    The United States and Russia made a spy swap deal: 10 spies working for Russia in the United States were returned to Moscow for four alleged Western agents in exchange.

     

    MOSCOW, July 28 (RIA Novosti)

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