Russia Cries Conspiracy Over U.S. 'Kidnapping' Of Hacker

The arrest of a Russian charged with stealing credit card info elicited theories from Russian media that it was all some sort of U.S. power play.
Posted at 6:31 PM, Jul 08, 2014

​U.S. Secret Service agents nabbed a hacker in what they call a textbook arrest, while Russia cries it was a “kidnapping” instead.  

In a press release Tuesday, agents say they arrested Russian national Roman Seleznev in Guam over the weekend. According to the New York Times, he’s accused of distributing malware, stealing data from hundreds of thousands of credit cards and then selling the account numbers on the black market. He allegedly retained millions in profits selling the information. (Via Getty Images)

Seleznev was indicted in Washington state. It’s one of many Northeast locations targeted by the hacker between 2009 and 2011. KATU reports the arrest brings closure to local businesses who suffered, or even went under after the attacks.

Federal officials and other U.S. media championed the arrest as stopping one more “prolific” cyber criminal on the web. (Via Getty Images)

However, Russia and affiliated media are crying foul and accusing the United States of “kidnapping”.  

Russia's state publication Itar-Tass reports the 30-year-old hacker was allegedly vacationing in the Maldives when he tried to board a plane to Moscow. At the airport U.S. agents forced him onto a private plane bound for Guam where he was formally arrested. (Via Getty Images)

RT ran a similar story but also commented, “The US has a record of taking drastic steps when it wants people held in custody” referring to the arrest of arms dealer Viktor Bout, who Russia described as a "businessman" detained unfairly by the U.S. 

And to make this all even more complicated, Seleznev happens to be the son of a Russian politician. In an interview with RT the member of parliament boldly speculated his son’s capture was a power play by the U.S.

“For all I know they may be demanding a ransom tomorrow. Or try to exchange him for [NSA whistleblower Edward] Snowden or somebody. One can only wonder.” (Via RT)

Those theories can’t be fully explained yet, but Russia’s Foreign Ministry told local media the U.S. never informed its diplomats about Seleznev’s detention.

The U.S. Department of Homeland security has not given any other details about the hacker’s situation. If found guilty of all charges Seleznev could face decades in prison. (Via Getty Images)