Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Italy Suspects Russian Special Services Helped Arrested Governors Son Escape

The son of the governor of Russia's Krasnoyarsk Territory, Artem Uss, who was arrested in Italy on the US request, managed to escape from house arrest thanks to a number of accomplices allegedly connected with Russian special services, Italian media reported on Tuesday, citing sources.

Artem Uss was arrested on a US warrant in MIilan on October 17, 2022. Alongside four other Russian citizens, he was accused of money laundering and evasion of sanctions. Uss pleaded not guilty and rejected voluntary extradition to the United States. On March 21, the Milan Appeals Court made the decision to extradite him to the US. Two days later, the 40-year old Russian disappeared from the flat in Milan, where he was supposed to stay under house arrest.

The prosecutor's office in Milan, which is investigating the Russian's disappearance, believes that Uss used a mobile phone despite the court ruling, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported. Investigators are now working on a transcript of calls from this phone, suspecting that Uss was in contact with a network of accomplices. The reports said that it was a cunning operation, forcing investigators to suspect that Moscow's special services played a decisive role in it.

In addition, the media noted that Uss's wife returned to Russia from Italy on March 13. According to the court's decision, which put the Russian under house arrest in early December, only she had the right to see Uss, and after her departure, the permission to deliver food and essentials to his flat was transferred to other people.

On the day of the escape, Uss turned off the electronic monitoring bracelet, after which he left the house with a backpack and fled in a car, the driver of which was waiting for him in a secluded place, the newspaper reported. The owner of the car is a stranger who does not use it, according to the report. Sources close to the investigations told the news outlet that Uss had changed the car a few kilometers (miles) from the place of escape in order to get to the border of one of the neighboring countries, possibly Switzerland or Slovenia.

Investigators have traced numerous accounts of Uss around the world with millions of Euros, the newspaper said, adding that the investigation is now on a clear track, even though Uss is already abroad.

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