The US have had their extradition request for two suspected arms dealers denied by the Hungarian authorities. The two suspects have instead been extradited to their native Russia.
The US had requested that Hungary extradite Vladimir Lyubishin Snr and Vladimir Lyubishin Jnr so that they could face charges relating to drugs and arms dealing. The US alleges that the two men were running a business buying and reselling military surplus material decommissioned by the Hungarian army. In 2016, the Lyubishins were arranging to supply arms to a Mexican drug cartel through a broker named Hamit Nasirlioglu. The US Drug Enforcement Administration had used confidential informants to act as cartel members to ensure that the arrangement was made. The US then sought the extradition of the Lyubishins and Mr Nasirlioglu. Hungary agreed to extradite Mr Nasirlioglu in March 2017, but the Lyubishins applied for asylum in Hungary. After their asylum application was rejected, Russian authorities issued a request for their extradition.
Russia sought to have Mr Lyubishin Snr and Mr Lyubishin Jnr extradited on the same drugs and arms dealing charges listed in the US extradition request. However, Russian authorities also sought Mr Lyubishin Snr’s extradition for an additional second case.
The US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that Hungary’s decision:
“is not consistent with our law enforcement partnership, undercuts the work that our agencies had done together to build this case, and will make citizens in the United States, Hungary, and the world less safe.”
It has now been reported that Mr Lyubishin Snr and Mr Lyubishin Jnr are currently being detained at Matrosskaya Tishina prison in Moscow, pending their trial.