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US Arrests Son of Russian MP In Maldives For Hacking 176

Posted by timothy
from the by-coincidence dept.
First time accepted submitter ugen (93902) writes "The son of a Russian lawmaker has been arrested by the U.S. on charges of selling credit card information he stole by hacking into the computers of American retailers. Roman Seleznev, 30, was arrested overseas by the U.S. Secret Service on July 5 and was ordered detained today during a hearing in federal court in Guam, the Justice Department said in a statement."
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US Arrests Son of Russian MP In Maldives For Hacking

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  • by Wulfstan (180404) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @09:39AM (#47406637)

    There's about a third of the globe between the two...

    • by Wulfstan (180404) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @09:40AM (#47406655)

      Replying to myself - as it turns out, the plot thickens:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

      • by jythie (914043) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @10:03AM (#47406793)
        I think if nothing else this raises questions about where the arrest actually happened. Russian media, esp when high ranking party members are involved, is not exactly known for being accurate in its reporting.

        Setting that aside, this does cut into the larger modern question of how to deal with cyber criminals who are based out of countries hostile to the US. There has always been the question about what to do with people who commit crimes in a country then flee to one without an extradition treaty, but increasingly we are having to deal with cases where the individual is actively committing crimes against the citizens of one country while being physically located in another.

        Though that gets into some interesting and sticky territory when it comes to transnational companies and the horrors they have committed around the world... or at least it SHOULD be sticky.
        • by Scutter (18425)

          I've seen two different stories. 1) He was arrested in Maldives and taken to Guam, and 2) He was arrested in Guam. In any case, there's obviously enough confusion about the story that we're not getting accurate information. Given that, if he were arrested in Maldives, it's certainly possible that it was with the help of the local police and just not being reported.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            I just read this:

            A Russian man, indicted in the Western District of Washington for hacking into point of sale systems at retailers throughout the United States was arrested this weekend and transported to Guam for an initial appearance, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. ROMAN VALEREVICH SELEZNEV, 30, of Moscow, also known as “Track2” in the criminal carding underground, was indicted in March 2011, for operating several carding forums that engaged in the distribution of stolen credit card information. At his first appearance in Guam today, SELEZNEV was ordered detained pending a further hearing scheduled for July 22, 2014.

            here: http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2014/07/russian-hacker-arrested-in-2010-broadway-grill-data-breach/

            as part of the announcement of the arrest.

            The "was arrested and transported to Guam" does not sound like he was "arrested" in Guam, and not mentioning where he was "arrested" sound a lot like this was actually a kidnapping.

            Just reading the headline of this story (the "arrested in Maledives") makes me sad:
            Some (many?) americans do not seem to notice (or accept?) that there are other cou

            • by jythie (914043)
              Another piece said he was arrested at the airport, and laws regarding jurisdiction get even stranger there.
            • by Scutter (18425)

              Yes, "arrested in Maldives" is one of the two conflicting stories I mentioned. I have also seen stories that said that he was arrested in Guam. The Maldives story seems to be coming from the Russians.

            • by kwbauer (1677400)

              "Actually a kidnapping"... I guess in an ideal world, nobody would ever break laws so we wouldn't need such unpleasant things as extradition treaties and such. However, we live in this reality and the situation is pretty simple. Mr. Seleznev was in Russia suing international communications media to commit crimes against American corporations and citizens. Had his activities been targeted against Russian corporations and citizens, he would still have been committing crimes; the same crimes. If Russia was unw

          • by GNious (953874)

            Perhaps he was picked up in the Maldives and "escorted" to Guam, and then arrested in Guam? :)

            • by Rei (128717)

              That seems to be precisely what his public defender is saying today (see elsewhere in this thread). And that it was done in cooperation with the Maldives government. So it looks like if there's a scandal here it would be the Maldives government breaking their own laws (although I personally have no clue if that would be illegal in the Maldives, or even what legal grounds would have been used)

        • by Rei (128717)

          Interesting article on the details of what he's charged with [krebsonsecurity.com] here, with screenshots of the operation he stands accused of running.

          While the details of the arrest are still hazy, one thing is clear - they've had this guy in their sights since 2011. It's not surprising that they issued a sealed indictment for him, mind you, that's not particularly unusual for a case like this where the subject is unlikely to be extradited and would avoid your jurisdiction if the indictment was public (nor is the US in any way

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Investigating financial crimes was the original purpose of the secret service, protecting the president was added later.

          • by Tuidjy (321055)

            This is not the first time the United States does something similar, i.e. has the authorities in country A apprehend someone who is not accused of anything there, expel him from A without notifying the country of origin, and 'somehow' have US officials waiting to arrest the 'expelled' individual on 'international' ground.

            US lawyers have consistently explained that this is somehow very different from illegal extradition/kidnapping which is explicitly condemned by the UN. It only looks the same. And I very

            • by Rei (128717)

              An update [pacificnewscenter.com] today:

              A Federal Public Defender on Guam, John Gorman, has been appointed to represent him.

              Gorman told PNC News today that he was informed by federal officials that the U.S. Secret Service arranged with the Maldives Government to "detain" Seleznev as he was about to board a plane back to Moscow this past Saturday, July 5th. He said Seleznev was then flown on a charter flight here to Guam where, the Federal authorities said, the actual "arrest" was made.

              Clearer, although still ambiguous. We now kno

        • I've got to think he was arrested/detained/etc in the Maldives. I can't imagine that he'd be stupid enough to visit Guam with a US indictment hanging over him.

      • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @11:05AM (#47407277)

        Replying to myself - as it turns out, the plot thickens:

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

        Right, the US has gone completely off the rails in recent years. "oh, this guy stole some credit card numbers... Let's kidnap him, fly him out of the country and try him in some random court outside the country! Yea! Go USA!"

        Seriously? It'd be one thing if he blew something up... but credit card fraud?

        • by rahvin112 (446269)

          Guam IS part of the US not some random court. He's been indicted in a federal court of the US.

        • by mjwx (966435)

          Replying to myself - as it turns out, the plot thickens:

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

          Right, the US has gone completely off the rails in recent years. "oh, this guy stole some credit card numbers... Let's kidnap him, fly him out of the country and try him in some random court outside the country! Yea! Go USA!"

          Seriously? It'd be one thing if he blew something up... but credit card fraud?

          CC fraud is a huge problem and a persistent one.

          I'd bet this guy was doing fraudulent transactions in the volume of thousands per week, if not per day.

          You may be thinking "stuff em, it's only the banks money" but you forget two things. It has a knockon effect to the rest of the economy as the fraudulently transferred money is taken out of circulation and secondly that through hidden fees like merchant service and interchange fees, eventually the banks get the money back from you.

          We aren't talking

    • by rossdee (243626)

      I RTFA'd and Maldives weren't mentioned

      • by rockout (1039072)

        Yeah, that particular article doesn't mention the Maldives. Dozens of others do identify the Maldives as the site of the arrest, most of them quoting the Russian government calling his arrest in the Maldives a kidnapping.

        http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/us-ac... [ibtimes.co.uk]

  • Surely it would have their place to make the arrest.
  • Hm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thieh (3654731) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @09:41AM (#47406659)
    Since when did the US got power to arrest people in Maldives? Does that mean they can just go into arbitrary countries and arrest people arbitrarily?
    • by khr (708262)

      Since when did the US got power to arrest people in Maldives?

      It looks like they took that power on July 5th.

      • by mbone (558574)

        In geopolitics, taking powers you do not actually have always leads to a reaction. Wait for it.

    • by fnj (64210)

      I believe that is what they do. I don't say "we" any more. It ain't no part of me.

      They don't even feel they have to use the magic T(errorist) or C(hild porn) words any more.

    • by Megol (3135005)

      Yes they can according to US law.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Since when did the US got power to arrest people in Maldives?

      Since they decided to give it to themselves.

      Does that mean they can just go into arbitrary countries and arrest people arbitrarily?

      They've been sending in people to do snatch and grabs for years now. Then they send them to a 3rd country which can use 'enhanced' interrogation which would be illegal in the US.

      And then they say that anything is legal because these people are enemy combatants who don't wear uniforms, and therefore not covered under a

      • by Stan92057 (737634)
        "Since they decided to give it to themselves."

        Citation's please. You point to no evidence they didn't have permissions or treaties with country's you seem to be an expert on snatch and grabs so please were the evidence. I know for a fact Russia government officals were blaming the USA for a missile attack when in fact it was a meteorite and you want us to believe what you say>> im not the smartest guy in the world but I know a troll when I see one.
        • by Aryden (1872756)
          How about the killing of Bin-Laden in Pakistan without Pakistan's permission. There's a very public instance of invading a sovereign nation with military forces for the intent to capture or kill OBL. The US government does what it wishes, when it wishes to do it and lives under the belief that it is easier to ask forgiveness than it is to ask permission.
          • by Stan92057 (737634)
            Quote"Over time it's going to be important for nations to know they will be held accountable for inactivity," he said. "You're either with us or against us in the fight against terror." (Full story)End Quite

            Pakistan was warned we didn't need permission we took it. We also killed Kaddafi in his own country. Justice served babe . So your example wasn't a very good one.
            • You Sir are the abominable son of GW Bush. Reveal yourself!
    • Re:Hm... (Score:4, Informative)

      by jratcliffe (208809) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @01:43PM (#47408563)

      Since when did the US got power to arrest people in Maldives? Does that mean they can just go into arbitrary countries and arrest people arbitrarily?

      Not unless the country in question authorizes it. If the Maldives didn't, then it's kidnapping. If they did, then it's deportation, and entirely kosher.

  • Kidnapping. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Talonius (97106) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @09:41AM (#47406667)

    When I had heard that the Russians were calling this kidnapping, I was doubtful -- but now, not so sure. We really do exact our justice anywhere we want to, don't we?

    What happened to extradition treaties and such? When did it become "stuff them in a van and drive!"?

    • Re:Kidnapping. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by benjfowler (239527) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @09:52AM (#47406751)

      The Russians are masters of passive aggression when it comes to law enforcement when it suits them: the place is corrupt from top to bottom, and it manifests itself in a complete lack of desire to cooperate in international law enforcement. They have a convenient clause in their constitution which lets them refuse to extradite anybody, no matter what -- but is only exercised when it suits them.

      Not arresting Russia's own cybercriminals is just another way for the notoriously erratic and thin-skinned Putin to poke the West in the eye and annoy us.

      • Re:Kidnapping. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @10:03AM (#47406797)
        Sounds just like the United States.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Sounds just like the United States.

          Gimme a break. The Russians are no where near as bad as the US.

      • by Ihlosi (895663) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @10:07AM (#47406833)
        The Russians are masters of passive aggression when it comes to law enforcement when it suits them: the place is corrupt from top to bottom, and it manifests itself in a complete lack of desire to cooperate in international law enforcement. They have a convenient clause in their constitution which lets them refuse to extradite anybody, no matter what -- but is only exercised when it suits them.

        I hate to break it to you, but the phrase above remains true if you replace "Russians" with any country powerful enough to get away with this kind of behavior.

        • by kamapuaa (555446)

          But there isn't a clause in most country's constitutions about this, and of course nations with little power are also often corrupt and unwilling to cooperate in international law enforcement, generally more so than powerful nations.

          • Article 61. The citizen of the Russian Federation may not be deported out of Russia or extradited to another state. The Russian Federation shall guarantee its citizens defense and patronage beyond its boundaries.
          • unwilling to cooperate in international law enforcement

            The US actively threatens countries with military invasion if they engage in certain forms of international law enforcement.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]

      • by wiggles (30088)

        This.

        Plus, ever since Snowden, the US is actively putting pressure on anyone in power in Russia - any Russians in positions of power with so much as a parking ticket in the US is on an extradition list.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The Amerikans are masters of aggressive aggression when it comes to law enforcement: the place is corrupt from top to bottom, and it manifests itself in a complete lack of desire to cooperate in international law enforcement. They have a convenient clause in their secret laws which lets them do whatever the fuck they feel like.

        Not arresting Amerika's own kriminal klass is just another way for the notoriously erratic and thin-skinned 1% to poke the 99% in the eye and annoy us.

        file under, sauce/goose, sauce/g

      • by mjwx (966435)

        Not arresting Russia's own cybercriminals is just another way for the notoriously erratic and thin-skinned Putin to poke the West in the eye and annoy us.

        Now the guy was arrested in Guam, a US territory not the Maldives but I cant help but think this was also a ploy to get leverage on Russia. Maybe setting the scene for a good old prisoner swap... Seeing as the guy is the son of a member of the State Duma (house of parliament) so he's the son of someone important, The US will give him a nice trial, sentence him to prison an then ring Putin and offer him a friendly deal, Seleznev will "serve" the rest of his sentence in Russia and in exchange, the Russians gi

    • by TWX (665546)

      When I had heard that the Russians were calling this kidnapping, I was doubtful -- but now, not so sure. We really do exact our justice anywhere we want to, don't we?

      What happened to extradition treaties and such? When did it become "stuff them in a van and drive!"?

      i expect that the United States already had notified Maldives and gotten approval for extradition, long before he was arrested. After all, they indicted him in 2011, so they had plenty of time to determine his whereabouts and travel patterns.

    • by Rei (128717) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @11:14AM (#47407341) Homepage

      TFA says he was arrested in Guam (a US territory). The "kidnapped in the Maldives" thing seems to be coming from the Russian media, which isn't exactly the most trustworthy source [rsf.org] on the planet (but at least it's a lot better than North Korea! ;) )

      Russia (148th) might have been lower in the index had it not been for the stubbornness and resistance shown by its civil society. But the authorities keep on intensifying the crackdown begun when Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin in 2012 and are exporting their model throughout the former Soviet Union. From Ukraine (127th, unchanged) and Azerbaijan (160th, -3) to Central Asia, Russia’s repressive legislation and communications surveillance methods are happily copied. Moscow also uses UN bodies and regional alliances such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in its efforts to undermine international standards on freedom of information.

      Criticism of the regime is common since the major demonstrations of 2011 and 2012 but media selfcensorship is far from disappearing. The federal TV stations continue to be controlled and, in response to the “return of politics in Russia,” the authorities have chose repression. Ever since Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin in May 2012, more and more draconian laws have been adopted. Activists, news media and bloggers have all been targeted. Defamation has been criminalized again, websites are being blacklisted and the range of activities that can be construed as “high treason” is now much broader. “Traditional values” are used to justify new restrictions on freedom of information, including the criminalization of “homosexual propaganda” and “insulting the feelings of believers.”

      Not like the US is a bed of roses - its #46 standing puts it below countries like Botswana and Papua New Guinea, only one place above Haiti. But compared to Russia....

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      What happened to extradition treaties and such?

      In theory, they're in effect.

      In practice, your government simply ignores them, or strong arms the country in question.

      America has ceased to be about the rule of law, just about what they want, and what they're willing to do. The laws, treaties, and demands of other countries is simply deemed irrelevant.

      On an international scale, the US is more or less a rogue state which does as it pleases. And that is truly alarming, because the global message is "we don't g

    • by Stan92057 (737634)
      The Russians first thoughts were that the USA was bombing them and it turned out to be a meteorite and you would like us to believe Willie Nellie what the Russia's say ??
    • 1. The US and Russia don't have an extradition treaty. Russia, in fact, doesn't extradite their citizens, period. So, that option is moot.
      2. If the Maldives decided to hand him over to the US, that's the Maldives' call. They can deport people to wherever they please. Again, no violation of treaty, since the Maldives and Russia (and the Maldives and the US) don't have an extradition treaty.
      3. If he was grabbed without the consent of the Maldivian (?) government, then that would constitute kidnapping ther

  • Imperial Police (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mbone (558574) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @09:49AM (#47406729)

    What in the hell are the US police doing arresting anyone in a foreign country? Is the Maldives part of the empire now?

    And, yes, the Russians are totally correct in calling this kidnapping. Look for some poor American tourist or businessman to be nabbed in a tit-for-tat.

    • by BigSlowTarget (325940) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @09:51AM (#47406739) Journal
      Well they don't want to go arrest people in Mexico. It's dangerous down there and besides the Maldives have great beaches.
    • What did the Russians call it when Putin poisoned diplomats he didn't like?

    • Respecting territorial sovereignty is for when other countries can do something about it. A small island nation of a few hundred thousand people need not apply.

      Still, it seems a bit excessive to do an extradition raid for someone who is apparently accused of hacking into zoo and deli websites. His relation to the Russian MP is probably what has earned him the special attention, part of Obama's plan to punish Russia. The message is clear, "Invade its allies and America will spoil your vacation."

      What do you

    • by quantaman (517394)

      I'm playing a bit of the devil's advocate but I'm assuming that the US has an extradition treaty with Maldives.

      The US has a fairly responsible justice system when it comes to this. If a person from Russia/Nigeria/a country with a dubious court system is stealing credit card info in the US/Canada/EU I think it's absolutely appropriate for one of the latter countries to seek that individual's arrest when that person enters a jurisdiction with an extradition treaty.

      So for me the US having the Maldives' police

  • I understand that he did something wrong, but begin arrested overseas by the U.S. Secret Service? The U.S.A. is acting like the mafia these days, no country is off-limits and frontiers don't exist.

    Next up: the U.S. Secret Service arrests E.T. on his home planet for an unpaid long-distance call.

    • >> [...] U.S. Secret Service arrests E.T. on his home planet for an unpaid long-distance call.

      Pipe dream.

      We lack the budget to get there, otherwise we would. Be realistic, please.

  • The US Secret Service is chartered with two utterly unrelated duties:
    1) Investigation of financial crimes such as counterfeiting and fraud.
    2) Protection of the US protected class of untouchable leaders, as well as visiting foreign dignitaries.

    I don't see violation of the rights of third party nationals in foreign lands anywhere in their charter. Surely there are normal cooperative channels to bring the case to the attention of the law enforcement agencies of the foreign lands and also the third party govern

    • by jratcliffe (208809) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @01:38PM (#47408533)

      The US Secret Service is chartered with two utterly unrelated duties:
      1) Investigation of financial crimes such as counterfeiting and fraud.
      2) Protection of the US protected class of untouchable leaders, as well as visiting foreign dignitaries.

      I don't see violation of the rights of third party nationals in foreign lands anywhere in their charter. Surely there are normal cooperative channels to bring the case to the attention of the law enforcement agencies of the foreign lands and also the third party governments.

      Violation of the sovereignty of the US by attacking it or its citizens does not seem to be a part of this case.

      1. This falls clearly under #1, investigation of financial crimes.
      2. He was indicted in 2011. If he were, say, a UK citizen (for example), the US would have put in an extradition request, and the UK would have (following a hearing, assuming there was credible evidence) extradited him. Same if the alleged crime had taken place in the UK, and he were a US citizen in the US.
      3. Russia doesn't extradite their citizens, period, and, even if they did, there's no extradition treaty between the US and Russia. Therefore, no, there aren't any "normal cooperative channels" involved.
      4. If the Maldives government (and I have to assume he was arrested there, otherwise he'd be a complete idiot, knowing that he had been indicted in the US, to visit Guam) consented to his arrest and transfer to the US, that's entirely kosher. The Maldives doesn't have an extradition treaty with the US (they don't have one with anyone, as far as I know, which might have been a reason that Mr. Seleznev decided to vacation there), but that doesn't mean that they're not allowed to extradite people, just that they're not obliged to.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This story pits dueling Slashdot hot-button knee-jerk outrage topics head-to-head: 1) Evil US oligarchy (I had to throw that one in as it is the new "hot" word to use), in a show if Imperialism kidnaps Russian citizen from foreign country, or 2) criminal is able to avoid arrest for five years due to his ties to government (oligarchical) power that allows Russia to stonewall their end of a bi-lateral agreement.

    Which will it be? Evil Imperialism or special treatment for those in power? Where will the outra

  • by AndyKron (937105)
    The USA has 51 states? How did that get past me?
    • by thieh (3654731)
      Still 50. Guam and other places are like the Virgin Islands where they don't get to become incorporated. Maldives just become one of those unincorporated places.
      • by swilly (24960)

        Maldives isn't a US territory. They used to be a UK one before they got their independence in 1965. Perhaps you were thinking of the Mariana Islands?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    So after the law about "web services must store data in Russia", next step will be a law "Russian MP must store children in Russia" ?
  • The Justice Department declined to say where Seleznev was arrested.

    So, just randomly stuffed into a van by the secret service or what? for those not in the united states, the Secret Service is our government law enforcement division that handles major financial crimes. Guam is a US Territory. it cant vote in congress or senate but its residents are considered US Citizens.

    The indictment, which was unsealed today

    so this guy was indicted but never knew about it? or we filed an indictment and just didnt tell anyone at all? Sometimes we do this because the statute of limitations is about to run out, but when is

    • by kwbauer (1677400)

      We did not indict him for being a politician's son. We indicted him for committing crimes. Personally, I find it ridiculous that diplomats get blanket immunity from prosecution but I fully understand the reasoning behind it. Now we have people suggesting that not only do accredited diplomats get immunity, but any politician? Seriously?

  • I'm pretty sure there's more to the story than we're getting out of either Russia or the US. And that goes double for what we're getting out of the Russian media (RT) and the US media. As sympathetic as I am to the Anonymous folks, their cries of "kidnapping" based only on what's coming out of Russia are a little premature. Does anyone here doubt that a Russian MP's son would be involved in a large-scale criminal enterprise stealing US credit card info? Is that really so improbable? I don't have a need
  • It would be a shame if your son comes to harm in some foreign jail, perhaps we can come to some arrangement about Owd Sneedon?
  • by Redmancometh (2676319) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @12:01PM (#47407795)

    I wonder if this is the same guy who was supposed to have been leading the Russian Business Network. There were/are a lot of rumors that his father was someone well-connected inside of the Russian government. It would explain how they've operated with impunity how long they have.

  • by azav (469988) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @12:04PM (#47407815) Homepage Journal

    this was also submitted to the firehose as "US Kidnaps Son of Russian MP", where the post alleges that the US extradited him to Guam under false pretenses.

    Wonder which spin is the correct one?

  • I guess we will be seeing Snowden back in the US as soon as his current asylum offer expires...
  • My guess is that US will try to exchange this guy for Edward Snowden. Typical for gangster states as United States of A.
  • FYI, MP = Member of Parliament (MP) . ttyl

  • Since we are so keen on going after foreigners breaking our laws outside of our jurisdiction, we lose the option of being outraged when another country does the same.

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