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Russia arrests top cybersecurity executive in treason case - court

Russia arrests top cybersecurity executive in treason case - court

Ilya Sachkov, head of Russia's Group IB cybersecurity company, is seen in a car in Moscow, Russia November 9, 2018. Picture taken November 9, 2018. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov/Files

MOSCOW :Russia has arrested Ilya Sachkov, the chief executive of top Russian cybersecurity company Group IB, on suspicion of state treason and will hold him in custody for two months, a Moscow court said on Wednesday.

Russian law enforcement officers searched the Moscow offices of Group IB on Tuesday, the company said. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the detention of their chief executive.

Group IB is one of Russia's most prominent cyber security firms. It focuses on investigating high tech crimes and online fraud, with a global client base that includes banks, energy companies, telecoms firms and Interpol.

A lawyer for Sachkov could not be reached for comment and it was not immediately clear what the allegations against him related to.

State treason is punishable by up to 20 years in jail. The details of such cases seldom come to light in full because of their classified nature.

Group IB said in a statement that the searches at its offices had begun on Tuesday morning, with law enforcement officials leaving that same evening. It said it had no information about why the searches were being conducted.

The RTVI TV channel said Sachkov had been detained on Tuesday, citing a source in law enforcement. An RTVI correspondent also reported that men were dragging things from Group IB's office to a van parked outside.

Group IB said all services were still running as normal and that the security of client data was ensured by the company's geographically distributed infrastructure.

The company said it was working to clarify the situation.

A number of Russian scientists, soldiers and officials have been charged with treason in recent years after being accused of passing sensitive material to foreign countries.

(Reporting by Anton Kolodyazhnyy and Anton Zverev; Writing by Alexander Marrow/Tom BalmforthEditing by Andrew Osborn)

Source: Reuters

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