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Anchorage man accused of scheme to smuggle snowmachines to Russia

By Anchorage Daily News, Anchorage Daily News, Alaska on

Published in News & Features

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Russian-born man living in Anchorage is facing federal charges he and another man tried to smuggle nearly $500,000 in snowmachines and parts to Russia, violating U.S. sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine.

Sergey Nefedov, 40, was arrested Tuesday on charges he attempted to illegally ship snowmachines to Russia via Hong Kong, according to an indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage. The other defendant was identified as 35-year-old Bellevue, Washington, resident Mark Shumovich.

Nefedov, who lives on the Anchorage Hillside, owns Absolut Auto Sales LLC, according to property and business records. Prosecutors say he also owned Alaska Sled Tours, a company involved in the federal case.

Nefedov was arrested at his home, according to Reagan Zimmerman, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Anchorage.

The men are accused of attempting to ship 17 Ski-Doo snowmachines and associated parts worth roughly $475,000 to Russia in November 2022, according to the indictment. Nefedov falsely identified companies in South Korea and Hong Kong as part of the purchase, the document says.

Federal prosecutors say Nefedov and Shumovich got quotes from U.S. snowmachine distributors and freight forwarders to buy and ship snowmachines. Funds wired to a Hong Kong company were then wired to Absolut Auto Sales, at which point Nefedov used the money to buy the snowmachines with Shumovich, according to the indictment.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, prompting U.S. Department of Commerce restrictions on export to Russia of "luxury goods," which includes snowmachines.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection seized the shipment in April 2023, according to the indictment.

 

Several co-conspirators in Russia and Hong Kong were also described in the indictment.

The snowmachine seizure and investigation "led to the disruption and identification of a transnational criminal network attempting to circumvent Russian sanctions," Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations operations in the Pacific Northwest, said in a statement.

Nefedov and Shumovich are facing charges including conspiracy, violation of the Export Control Reform Act, smuggling goods from the United States, submitting false or misleading export information, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and international money laundering.

Nefedov is scheduled for his first court appearance on Friday. He was jailed at the Anchorage Correctional Complex as of Thursday.

Participating agencies in his arrest included the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security Office of Export Enforcement, Zimmerman said.

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(c)2024 the Alaska Dispatch News (Anchorage, Alaska). Visit the Alaska Dispatch News (Anchorage, Alaska) at www.adn.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

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