The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US Federal Attorney's Office are investigating the American company Intertech Corporation from New Hampshire, which was suspected of supplying laboratory equipment for “Russian weapons of mass destruction programs.” Writes about this The Daily Beast with reference to court documents in the case.
They say the company “deliberately falsified shipping documents, avoided and bypassed export restrictions and disguised end-users” by sending laboratory equipment to Russia. According to the newspaper, the Federal Security Service (FSB) could be among the recipients of the latter.
The documents indicate that Intertech used a shell company to conceal supplies to its Moscow subsidiary, Intertech Instruments, which came under US sanctions in March this year. According to the Daily Beast, it is not clear what specific equipment Intertech supplied to Russia, but the imposed sanctions against its alleged subsidiary may indicate that this may concern the Russian government's program on chemical and biological weapons.
The publication claims that Intertech allegedly had a long and successful business relationship with the FSB. According to court documents, one of the Moscow employees of Intertech Instruments, Tatyana Kimstach, worked in the FSB laboratory many years ago, and now works closely with the Russian special service.
The documents claim that Intertech shipped five shipments of equipment to Russia between March 2015 and September 2016. Among the alleged recipients of the cargo was, in particular, the FSB Institute of Forensic Science, also known as NII-2.
The publication notes that prosecutors have not yet filed any formal accusations against the company and its employees.
In March, the US Department of Commerce imposed sanctions on nine Russian companies. In addition to Intertech Instruments, the restrictions also included GK Himmed, Femteko, Interlab, Labinvest, Analit Products, Pharmcontract, Rau Pharm and Regionsnab, as well as the 27th scientific center Ministry of Defense.
The US authorities said that these organizations may have been involved in the creation and proliferation of chemical weapons. At the same time, one of the Russian companies that fell under the sanctions, Femteko, told RBC that it was not involved in any supplies for the development or production of chemical weapons.
In addition to companies, Russian government officials also fell under US sanctions – head of the Federal Penitentiary Service Alexander Kalashnikov, head of the presidential administration's internal policy department Andrei Yarin, prosecutor general Igor Krasnov, director of the FSB Alexander Bortnikov, deputy defense minister Alexei Krivoruchko and Pavel Popov, as well as first deputy head of the presidential administration Sergey Kirienko. Those on the list cannot own property in the United States, and citizens of the United States are prohibited from making any transactions with them.
The reason for the expansion of trade sanctions and the imposition of restrictions on Russian officials were accusations against the Russian authorities about the use of banned poisonous substances against former GRU colonel Sergei Skripal, convicted of treason, and opposition leader Alexei Navalny.