US detains Chechens accused of smuggling firearms to Russia

US detains Chechens accused of smuggling firearms to Russia
Photo: James Lawler Duggan / Reuters

Virginia police prevent the smuggling of weapons to Russia. Arrestees Tengiz Sydykov and Eldar Rezvanov are natives of Chechnya, each faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

The Alexandria (Virginia) residents Tengiz Sydykov and Eldar Rezvanov are arrested on charges of international trafficking in firearms, smuggling and other offenses. A release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia says residents purchased more than 100 disassembled firearms and tried to ship them to Chechnya.

“Residents purchased more than 100 disassembled firearms and tried to ship them to Chechnya without a license, using false shipping inventories and disguising the parts as kitchen utensils and car seat covers,” a criminal release states.

The U.S. Attorney's Office notes both arrestees are from Chechnya, Sydykov, 28, and Rezvanov, 27. Each faces up to 20 years in prison, however, the court usually gives a term that is less than the maximum.

At the same time, the message of the supervisory authority does not specify who exactly is the final addressee of the delivery. In addition to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the investigation involves representatives of the counterintelligence and U.S. Export Controls.

In August 2017, the police detained nine members of a Chechen criminal group in Austria. After the detention, there were seized cold steel and firearms, including the Uzi submachine gun. Chechens were accused of creating a criminal group, fraud, arson, blackmail, extortion and illegal possession of weapons.

Tags: Chechnya
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