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Russian UN Official Arrested

2 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A Russian United Nations official is reported to have been arrested by U.S. authorities on suspicion of money laundering.

The Associated Press is reporting the arrest Thursday in New York of Vadim Kuznetsov, who works with the General Assembly committee that oversees the UN budget.

The report says Kuznetsov is due to be arraigned on 2 September in federal court in the Manhattan District of New York.

The Associated Press quotes an unnamed U.S. law enforcement official as saying the charges involve money laundering and are only remotely connected to the UN oil-for-food program in Iraq, which is the target of a number of corruption investigations.

Kuznetsov is the second Russian U.N. official to be arrested in the last month. He follows Aleksandr Yakovlev, who worked in the UN procurement office, who has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering, in part for soliciting bribes from UN contractors.