US denies involvement in arrest of Russian MP's son in Maldives

Updated: 2014-07-11 20:52


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MALE - The United States denied that their secret service arrested a Russian lawmaker's son in the Maldives on allegations of cybercrime, which has sparked accusations of " kidnapping" by the Russian government, an official from the US embassy said on Friday.

"The Maldivian authorities detained" Russian national Roman Seleznyov following the issuance of an Interpol red notice for him, a spokesman for the US embassy in Colombo told Maldivian local newspaper Minivan.

"We appreciate the government of Maldives' commitment to other Interpol member states, and thank them for their support in pursuing justice for the victims of these crimes," the spokesperson added.

The arrest follows indictments that allege serious charges of bank and computer fraud that affected thousands of American citizens, the spokesperson said.

Following outrage from the Russian government and Seleznyov's father, Maldives President Abdulla Yameen attempted to calm troubled waters by confirming that no secret service officials took part in the arrest.

He also insisted a delegation would meet with the Russian ambassador in Colombo to explain the situation and the Maldivian Foreign Minister would meet with top level Russian politicians to avoid disruption of ties.

"Nobody ran operations here. A foreign law enforcement agency cannot arrest and take away someone within the Maldives. The arrest was made according to due procedure, upon Interpol's notice, with their assistance and (the arrested) has been taken to a country where his case can be investigated properly," Yameen told reporters.

Seleznyov has been accused by the US of hacking Americans' credit card information, identity theft and other cybercrimes.

A federal court has ruled to continue to detain Seleznev, a decision that is eliciting protest from Russia, according to international reports.