Estonian criminal extradited to U.S.

  • 2008-07-14
  • TBT staff in cooperation with BNS

Photo: Steve Woods

NEW YORK- Estonian computer criminal, Alexander Suvorov is likely to beextradited to the United States where he issuspected hacking into computer systems and selling stolen information forhefty amounts of money.

The US Secret Service arrested Suvorov, and a young man carrying an Estonian passport, in Frankfurton Main on March 3 when he was attempting to fly withhis girl-friend to Indonesiareports Der Spiegel.

The magazine wrote that the young man was known as Jonny Hell and wasbelieved to belong to the world's biggest gang trading credit card numbers.

His detention has created problems in US-German relations, as USagents are likely to have acted on their own, without informing the Germanauthorities.

According to Der Speigel the US Secret Service had been tracking Suvorov forthree years and observed the couple while they were out shopping in central Frankfurt.But he was not arrested in central Frankfurt becausethis would have affected American-German relations.

A German court must now decide whether Suvorov will be extradited to the United States.

At the time of his arrest, the hacker had not touched German data banks. Buthe has obtained millions of credit card number in other countries and is saidto have caused damages of over 100 million dollars.

If the U.S.'ssuspicions are true, it is the biggest and most sensational computer crime ofmodern times, the publication wrote.

Currently the German court and the man's lawyer have no idea what roleSuvorov is playing in this situation, as the U.S.information is highly classified.

The official extradition application only describes a case in which Suvorovhacked into the administration computer of the restaurant chain Dave &Buster and transferred the credit card numbers of the more than 5,000 clientsof the chain to Estonia.

Jonny Hell gave the number to one of his accomplices who sold them to thehighest bidder on the black market.

According to Der Spiegel Suvorov has denied the accusations.

AFP reported that in addition to Suvorov, Ukrainian Maksim Jastremski andAlbert Gonzales, a resident of Miami,were also suspected of working with Suvorov.

The latter two men have been detained. Turkish authorities arrestedJastremski in July 2007 for different breaches of the law and he is currentlyin prison there. Gonzales was arrested in Miami.