Criminal group has tried to sell parts for the MiG-29 to North Korea

WARSAW, (BM) – The smuggling of parts of military aircraft from Russia to North Korea, worth a total of 72.2 million rubles (about $ 1.1 million), was thwarted by the Russian FSB and the equipment was returned to the Ministry of Defense, learned citing the Polish news agency Defence24.

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They were, among others components of MiG-29 fighters. One of the convicts in this case is Vladimir Lubiszyn, whose extradition is being demanded by the USA on the basis of similar charges against the famous Wiktor Butowi. The whole story is more like a thriller in which supplies worth nearly $ 20 million could be at stake.

According to the Russian daily Kommersant, a Moscow court officially handed over to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation military equipment worth 72.2 million rubles, smuggling of which to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was thwarted in 2016.

Three entrepreneurs were sentenced in the case. As part of their activity, which started in 2016, they obtained elements of RD-33 aircraft engines used in MiG-29 fighters, elements of control systems, fuel and ignition systems for military aircraft, and other spare parts for their illegal export.

Vladimir Lubiszyn, Konstanty Moskal and Denis Fedosov organized a meeting in Moscow in 2016 with the North Korean air force delegation because they knew that the country urgently needed spare parts and other military equipment. DPRK is subject to a UN embargo, and most of its aviation is made of Russian or Chinese machines.

Therefore, a system for obtaining and transporting selected components by air to Pyongyang was planned. The first delivery, foiled by the FSB, was worth about $ 1.1 million, but the total “orders” collected by the Korean entrepreneurs amounted to at least 1.2 billion rubles, or about $ 19.3 million.

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However, the smugglers were not lucky and the FSB found their trail quite quickly, which in mid-2016 seized the goods prepared for smuggling. Two of them were detained and tried, while the third one left the country and ended up in even worse fuel. Vladimir Lubishin, the brain behind the entire operation, fled Russia, but was still planning a career as an international arms dealer.

He made a $ 2 million deal to sell MANPADS anti-aircraft launchers to representatives of the Mexican drug cartel, who turned out to be agents of the US DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). The United States applied for the extradition of Lubiszyn from Hungary, where he was and was detained. It is worth recalling that in a similar way the Americans caught the famous arms dealer Wiktor But, the prototype of the protagonist of the film “Lord of Life and Death” played by Nicolas Cage. However, Lubiszyn did not end up in America.

The Hungarians decided in 2018 to hand over the unlucky businessman to Russia of which he is a citizen, which caused a minor crisis in relations between Budapest and Washington.

In Moscow, meanwhile, Vladimir Lubishin will face a court accused of attempting to smuggle “weapons, military equipment or equipment for the production of weapons of mass destruction,” but because he pleaded guilty, he was sentenced to just a year and five months in prison, which included the time spent in Hungarian custody and released immediately. Konstanty Moskal, who was sentenced to 3 years in a penal colony and 500,000 prisoners, was a bit worse in the case rubles fine.

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However, he had left for good behavior earlier. However, the verdict of his assistant, Denis Fedosov, is not known, although it is most likely that it was he who collaborated with the Russian services and could have avoided responsibility. It should be noted that all three came out much better throughout history than Wiktor But, who in 2012 was sentenced to 25 years in the US and a $ 15 million fine.


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