Italian police arresting people accused of helping Russian businessman escape arrest

Italian police are conducting an operation to bust five people in and outside the country on charges of helping the escape of Russian businessman Artyom Uss from house arrest, the ANSA news agency reported.

Arrest warrants have been issued for five people from Slovenia and Serbia, including a father and son of Bosnian origin, the report said. An arrest warrant has also been issued for the Russian businessman, ANSA said.

The operation is being conducted jointly with Eurojust and with US support near Brescia, as well as in Slovenia and Croatia. All five people purportedly helped organize the escape of Uss, the son of former Krasnoyarsk Region Governor Alexander Uss, last spring.

The junior Uss had been arrested in Italy at the request of the United States on October 17, 2022. A Milan court then approved a US extradition request, but USS fled from home detention on March 23, 2023. He probably was able to remove his electronic ankle tracking device.

Later, Uss turned himself in at the investigative department of the Russian Interior Ministry.

The US State Department has said it is ready to pay a reward of up to $7 million for information leading to the arrest of Uss. The US has accused the businessman of engaging in money laundering and the evasion of sanctions. If convicted in the US, he faces 20 to 30 years in prison.

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