The Kremlin is accusing the U.S. of "kidnapping" alleged Russian hacker Roman Valerevich Seleznev after the Secret Service arrested the 30-year-old for allegedly installing malicious software to steal credit numbers, the International Business Times reported.
Russia is calling the U.S. arrest of Seleznev "yet another unfriendly gesture" of the United States. Prosecutors say Seleznev, who's scheduled for a July 22 hearing, programmed malicious software to steal credit numbers, using computer servers all over the world. He is charged with bank fraud, obtaining information from a protected computer, possessing stolen credit cards and identity theft.
According to Russian media, Seleznev is the son of Russian MP Valery Seleznev. The Russian Parliament member reportedly told the Itar-Tass news agency he was unable to speak with his son but called the allegations a "monstrous lie and a provocative act."
"We consider this as the latest unfriendly move from Washington. This is not the first time the US side, ignoring a bilateral treaty ... on mutual assistance in criminal matters, has gone ahead with what amounts to the kidnapping of a Russian citizen," the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its website.
Seleznev was arrested July 5 by the U.S. Secret Service in an airport in the Maldives. He was taken to Guam where he appeared in court on Monday, according to the International Business Times.
Seleznev faces up to 30 years in jail if found guilty of the charges, which include bank fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer and aggravated identity theft.
"This important arrest sends a clear message: despite the increasingly borderless nature of transitional organized crime, the long arm of justice – and this Department – will continue to disrupt and dismantle sophisticated criminal organizations," Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said in a statement following Seleznev's arrest.