The authorities of Brazil presented a new charge against the alleged Russian spy Sergei Cherkasov, who is serving a five-year prison term in the country for forging documents. The new charge concerns money laundering, because of which the Russian will now not be able to apply for early release.
It is reported that Ivan Chetverikov, an employee of the Russian Embassy in Brazil, has been charged with the same crime. The investigation believes that he deposited money into one of the banks in Rio de Janeiro every month, and Cherkasov withdrew it.
The mass media note that the GRU officer does not admit guilt, although he does not deny the fact of acquaintance with an employee of the Russian diplomatic mission. Chetverikov himself left Brazil last year.
Sergey Cherkasov was detained in 2022 in the Netherlands and deported to Brazil, where he was first sentenced to 15 years in prison for forging documents, and then the sentence was reduced to 5 years. It has been established that he lived in Brazil under the name Victor Muller Ferreira. Also, Cherkasov lived for some time in the USA, in the city of Baltimore, where he studied at John Hopkins University, and in 2022 he tried to get a job at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, when he began to study the case of war crimes committed by the Russian army in Ukraine.
In April, the Russian publication “Agentstvo” discovered another identity of Cherkasov: according to the mass media, the GRU officer had a passport issued to Viktor Bokov, who was registered in Moscow.
Cherkasov’s extradition is sought by two countries – Russia and the USA.
According to The Wall Street Journal, American authorities suspect the GRU officer of espionage and consider him a potential participant in a prisoner exchange with the Russian side.
In Russia, a criminal case has been initiated against Cherkasov on charges of drug trafficking. According to the Russian authorities, he supplied heroin from Afghanistan. The Russian admitted this and himself requested deportation to his family. Bellingcat and The Insider assumed in their investigation that the Russian authorities simply fabricated a criminal case against Cherkasov in order to return him to his family.