Paul Whelan, 50 years old, and has been known since the day of his arrest. During interrogation, the agents of the FSB, in charge of internal security in Russia, told him : "You will be exchanged. "The former us marine arrested in December 2018 at a hotel near the Red square, which will serve as a currency of exchange. Discussions between the United States and Russia have been held for several months about it. Except that Moscow was a condition. Paul Whelan was first to be judged. However, this is done. The U.s. is also a holder of passports of canadian, irish and british, has been sentenced by a court in Moscow to 16 years of imprisonment in a " strict regime ". A mock trial for attempted espionage that accuses the person concerned. Whelan arrived in Moscow to get to a wedding. With its descent of plane, he would have accepted the hand of a "friend" a USB key, thinking to find there photos. According to investigators, the russians, there was, on the contrary, data on Russian agents.
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In court, since his cage of glass, Whelan has held up a sheet of paper on which he calls to the aid the u.s. president and british prime ministers, irish and canadian. Donald Trump, he has little choice in the matter. If he wants to recover Whelan, he knows the names of the three Russian prisoners claimed by Moscow. "These cases arouse our indignation and our anger ", stressed that, in February, the vice-minister of foreign Affairs Sergey Vershinin.
"Lord of War"
the head of the list, a big one size : Viktor Bout, 53-year-old. Arrested in Thailand in 2008, the moustached, blue-eyed is currently serving a sentence of 25 years in prison in the United States. This is the arms dealer, the most famous of the post-cold war era. His life was the inspiration for the movie Lord of War with Nicolas Cage. Former military intelligence Russian (GRU), they are thriving by selling the stocks of arms abandoned in the aftermath of the fall of the USSR. Its land of predilection ? The african countries plagued by endless conflicts. Liberia, Sierra Leone, democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Angola...
The polyglot of Viktor Bout, a holder of five passports, is everywhere, mobilizing its sixty aircraft at the service of dictators, bloodthirsty, of which the Liberian Charles Taylor. And sometimes even in the service of NGOS, or the UN in Somalia. An " ace " of the logistics, at the head of three hundred men and managed to escape several assassination attempts and arrests, thanks to his support. Particularly in Moscow. It eventually falls into the nets of the american services in Bangkok. A place where he was negotiating, it is said, the sale of surface to air missiles to the rebels, the colombian Farc.
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Another case : that of Konstantin Iarochenko, 52 years old, driver, native of Rostov-on-Don, who was sentenced in 2011 to 20 years in prison. His name is less well known, but the Russian authorities attach great importance to his return. As Iarochenko, placed in solitary confinement, suffers from fragile health. "I don't know if I'm going to get out alive" he recently confided to his wife on the phone. In the eyes of Moscow, the man would suffer an unfair treatment. Trapped by a case that would have exceeded.
Then he vivote through its services of taxi-plane, it crosses the path of drug dealers who asked him to convey 4 tons of cocaine from Venezuela to Liberia, then to Ghana. Salary: $ 5.7 million. It does not have the time to take the controls of his plane. The agents of the DEA, the u.s. drug enforcement administration, pass the handcuffs to the members of the network during a preparatory meeting in Liberia. Iarochenko is embedded with the other. U.s. prosecutors contend the records in which the Russian boasts a long experience in the transport of the drug. His lawyers plead his naivety.
A "hacker" arrested in the Maldives
Last man to be claimed by Moscow, Roman Seleznev, 35 years. He was the son of a Russian parliamentary. And above all a formidable computer hacker. He is accused of stealing the credit card numbers of 500 u.s. companies and 3,700 financial institutions. Amount of damage : $ 169 million.
His adventure stops at the end of a vacation in the Maldives in 2014. He was arrested by american agents on board the plane that was preparing to take off for Moscow. We soon transferred to another device. Destination : the american island of Guam. He is now serving a sentence of 27 years in prison.