Wife of suspected Russian arms dealer protests his innocence

The wife of a Russian national detained in Greece on suspicion of involvement in an arms deal with Colombia’s FARC guerrilla group said on Monday her husband was completely innocent.

Vladimir Gavrilov was detained by Greek police Friday near Thessaloniki on an international warrant issued by Peru.

On Monday, a court remanded him in custody for 30 days pending the arrival of official documents from Peru.

“I am 150 percent certain that he has not been involved in anything of that sort,” Marina Gavrilov said in a telephone interview with RIA Novosti.

“My husband indeed traveled to Peru on a business trip to attend an exhibition,” she said, stressing that he had nothing to do with Peruvian arms dealers.

The police say Vladimir Gavrilov was implicated in an illegal arms deal involving 10,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles delivered to Colombia’s FARC leftist guerrilla group in 1999.

Vladimiro Montesinos, former chief of Peru’s intelligence service, was sentenced to 20 years in 2006 for masterminding the deal.

Asked about her husband’s line of business, Marina said he was in the Russian civil service without providing any specifics.

The couple was in Thessaloniki on a tourist visa.


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