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SBU detains man suspected of trying to sell aircraft components to Russian military

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 4, 2023 6:08 PM 1 min read
An image of some of the stolen components posted online on Dec. 4, 2023. (Security Service of Ukraine)
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A Ukrainian entrepreneur has been detained on suspicion of attempting to sell stolen aircraft components to Russia, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said on Dec. 4.

The equipment, which the SBU said had been stolen by a Dnipropetrovsk resident in 2019, included starter motors and air pumps for MiG-29 jets worth over Hr 10 million ($273,300).

According to the SBU, the thief then handed over the components to an entrepreneur he was familiar with, with the expectation that he would sell them on.

The businessman stored the components on the site of an automobile repair shop he owned for the last few years.

He then reportedly advertised the fact the components were in his possession on a "specialized website," which was noticed by Russian defense industry employees.

The SBU said it uncovered the attempted sale before the parts were obtained by Russia.

Two starter motors, 10 air pumps, and one thousand unspecified "additional components" were also found at the repair shop during searches by law enforcement.  

The SBU had the equipment examined and transferred to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

If convicted, perpetrators face up to 12 years in prison for conducting a deal involving criminally obtained property, the SBU said.  

Ukroboronprom refutes claim that Russian company imported Ukrainian products
The state-owned enterprise Ukrainian Defense Industry (UkrOboronProm) denied on Nov. 29 earlier media reports that a Russian company had imported spare parts for military aircraft and helicopters manufactured by Ukrainian enterprises.

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