Updated at 17:11,20-07-2018

USA: Belarusian-born smuggler sentenced to 15 years


On December 19, 2013 Siarhei Baltutski, 41, was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison for conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act, conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and conspiracy to commit money laundering, the US Justice Department official web site says.

Between January 1, 2008, and September 21, 2011, Mr Baltutski organized a network of buyers in the United States to obtain and illegally export to Belarus high-tech military hardware such as Scorpion Thermal Weapon Sights, ThOR 2 Thermal Imaging Scopes, Thermal-Eye Renegade 320’s, and other night vision targeting devices. During the course of the conspiracy, Siarhei Baltutski and his associates illegally exported hundreds of these items. Mr Baltutski then arranged for hundreds of thousands of dollars to be secretly wired, via offshore shell companies, to purchase these items, to pay for shipping, and to pay his network of buyers.

The Arms Export Control Act and the International Emergency Economic Power Act prohibit the export of high-tech military technology. Keeping this technology out of the hands of current and potential adversaries is critical to national interest and the safety and success of U.S. service members in combat, the Department states.