The FBI arrested a Russian citizen at Sairpan International Airport in the Northern Mariana Islands, a Pacific territory overseen by the U.S., on charges related to the export of defense items. Photo by P. Miller/Wikimedia Commons
Jan. 5 (UPI) -- The FBI arrested a Russian citizen in the Northern Mariana Islands, a Pacific territory overseen by the United States, on charges related to the export of defense items.
On Dec. 29, Dmitry Makarenko was detained at Saipan International Airport on suspicion of conspiracy to export defense articles without a license, attempting to export defense articles without a license and money laundering.
A document filed by the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands last Monday requested Makarenko's transfer to the Southern District of Florida.
In a statement Saturday Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the United States is in violation of the bilateral Consular Convention because they have "not notified about the fact of our citizen's detention in the proper three-day period. It's not the first time this happens."
Makarenko was detained with his wife, children and parents as they landed at the airport in Saipan and then he was taken to Florida, the ministry said.
The Russian Embassy in Washington wants access to Makarenko and an explanation for the arrest.
"He was detained by the FBI at the airport immediately after arrival," the statement said. "At the same time, the Russian Embassy in Washington learned about what happened to him not from the American law enforcement agencies, but from his relatives."
The Russian embassy said access should have been granted before Wednesday.
"We demand that Washington clarify the reasons for the arrest and the full respect of the rights of a Russian citizen," the ministry said.
In June 2017, a U.S. court in Miami indicted Makarenko on charges of conspiracy to export defense items without a license, attempting to export such items and money laundering, according to documents. Activities took place in 2013, authorities say.
The United States said he lived in Vladivostok, Russia, and would order items such as night-vision scopes and ship them to an associate in Florida.
The U.S. State Department and the FBI did not immediately respond to CNN's requests for comment.
On Thursday, a U.S. citizen, Paul Whelan, was charged in Russia on suspicion of carrying out an act of espionage. He was arrested in Moscow and his family said he was in Russia only for a vacation.
On Dec. 13, Russian national Maria Butina pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court to trying to infiltrate political circles and influence U.S. relations with Russia.