Moscow accuses United States of "kidnapping" Russian hacker

Russia accused the United States on Tuesday of violating a bilateral treaty and "kidnapping" a Russian accused of hacking into U.S. retailers` computer systems to steal credit card data. 

Reuters| Updated: Jul 08, 2014, 16:10 PM IST

Washington: Russia accused the United States on Tuesday of violating a bilateral treaty and "kidnapping" a Russian accused of hacking into U.S. retailers` computer systems to steal credit card data. 

The US Department of Homeland Security said on Monday the Secret Service had arrested Roman Valerevich Seleznev, 30, on July 5 for actions carried out from 2009 to 2011. 

Russian media carried reports that the man arrested may be the son of a member of parliament, Valery Seleznev. The deputy told Russia`s Itar-Tass news agency he had not been able to speak to his son but added: "This is a monstrous lie and a provocative act."

The man was apprehended in an airport in the Maldives, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"We consider this as the latest unfriendly move from Washington," it said in a statement on its website.

"This is not the first time the US side, ignoring a bilateral treaty ... on mutual assistance in criminal matters, has gone ahead with what amounts to the kidnapping of a Russian citizen." 

Roman Seleznev was indicted in Washington state in March 2011 on charges including bank fraud, causing damage to a protected computer, obtaining information from a protected computer and aggravated identity theft, the U.S. agency said in a statement.

The indictment said Seleznev hacked into websites ranging from those run by the Phoenix Zoo, a branch of Schlotzsky`s Deli and many other small restaurants and entertainment venues around the country. 

Relations between Russia and the United States are at a low ebb in Vladimir Putin`s third term as president, with the former Cold War enemies divided over the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine as well as on human rights, democracy and defence matters.