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- Ukrainian Entrepreneur Arrested for Selling Stolen MiG-29 Components
Ukrainian Entrepreneur Arrested for Selling Stolen MiG-29 Components
SBU Says Stolen Starter Motors and Air Pumps Sold to Russia
A Ukrainian entrepreneur has been detained on suspicion of attempting to sell stolen aircraft components to Russia, according to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). The detainee, whose name has not been released, was apprehended on December 4.
The SBU stated that the stolen equipment, including starter motors and air pumps for MiG-29 jets, was valued at over Hr 10 million ($273,300). The components were reported stolen by a resident of Dnipropetrovsk in 2019.
After stealing the equipment, the perpetrator allegedly handed it over to an acquaintance, an entrepreneur, with the expectation that he would facilitate the sale. The entrepreneur, whose identity has not been disclosed, stored the components at an automobile repair shop that he owned for several years.
In an attempt to sell the stolen components, the businessman reportedly advertised their availability on a "specialized website." This advertisement caught the attention of Russian defense industry employees, who subsequently alerted Ukrainian authorities.
Fortunately, the SBU intercepted the attempted sale before the parts could be obtained by Russia. In addition to the stolen components, law enforcement officers found two starter motors, 10 air pumps, and one thousand unspecified "additional components" during searches at the repair shop.
The SBU promptly examined the seized equipment and subsequently transferred it to the Ukrainian Armed Forces for further evaluation and potential use.
The SBU emphasized the severity of the crime, stating that if convicted, the perpetrators could face up to 12 years in prison for conducting a deal involving criminally obtained property.
The incident highlights the ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia, which have been engaged in a conflict since Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014. Ukraine has accused Russia of supporting separatist movements in its eastern regions, leading to increased security measures and greater vigilance against potential espionage and illicit activities.
The SBU's successful prevention of the attempted sale demonstrates the agency's commitment to safeguarding national security and protecting Ukraine's military capabilities.
As the investigation continues, Ukrainian authorities will work to identify any potential accomplices and determine the full extent of the stolen equipment's intended destination.
This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of international cooperation in combating illegal arms trade and preventing the unauthorized transfer of sensitive military technology.