Moscow accuses US of kidnapping MP's son on hacking charges

After the US arrested a man believed to be a prolific trafficker of stolen credit card data, the father, a Russian lawmaker, says he will be accused of everything up to "killing Kennedy."
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer on

After arresting a Russian national on charges of hacking and fraud, Moscow has accused Washington of abducting the son of a Russian MP.

According to the AFP news agency, Russian lawmaker Valery Seleznev admitted to being the father of the alleged hacker and stolen data trafficker, and expressed fears that son Roman Seleznev would be accused of all matter of criminal activity, including "killing Kennedy."

The publication says that Valery Seleznev has accused Washington of committing a crime against his son, and that there was no solid evidence he is a hacker. In contrast, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) has branded him "one of the world's most prolific traffickers of stolen financial information."

Roman Seleznev was arrested by US agents in the Maldives and currently being held in Guam. The Russian national is accused of accessing US point-of-sale systems and stealing credit card information to later sell online in a scheme between October 2009 and February 2011.

Valery Seleznev, representative of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), told the Dozhd TV channel that "this is the abduction of a Russian national," and "it has nothing to do with arrest." The lawmaker also claimed that his son could not be guilty as he was injured in 2011 and is now disabled.

According to the US DoJ, Roman Seleznev, also known as "Track2," not only accessed retail systems and lifted credit card data, but also operated servers and forums to sell the stolen credentials worldwide. The accused hacker is being charged with counts of bank fraud, intentionally causing damage to protected computers, obtaining information unlawfully, possession of unauthorized access devices, trafficking unauthorized access devices and aggravated identity theft.

In total, this could land the son of the Russian lawmaker 30 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines.

Valery Seleznev told state news agency ITAR-TASS:

"I am now in negotiations with the Russian Foreign Ministry. Kidnapping is a crime. The country must protect its citizens, and Roman should go back to Russia.

My son is a person with disabilities. He needs medical treatment and medicines. I fear that he would be pressured to confess even in the murder of Kennedy or being Monica Lewinsky. We all know what American justice is."

The lawmaker also accused the US of taking "the liberty to kidnap a person in the Maldives and without any body of evidence to bring him to the USA and arrest."

The Russian lawmaker has insisted that if his son should be tried, it should take place in a Russian court and not the United States.

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