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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsFrance Agrees to Extradite Greek-Born Russian Spy to the US

France Agrees to Extradite Greek-Born Russian Spy to the US

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A Greek-born Russian spy and businessman will be extradited to the United States after a court ruling from the French judicial system. Credit: wikimedia commons / Dickelbers CC B Y 4.0

French law enforcement authorities have released their verdict concerning Nikos Bogonikolos’ spying case. The alleged Russian spy of Greek origin will be extradited to the United States.

Nikos Bogonikolos was arrested in Paris on May 9th for allegedly conspiring to aid the Russian military by providing intelligence in the form of sensitive technologies. The following week, on May 16th, a criminal complaint charging Bogonikolos with conspiracy to commit wire fraud was unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn.

This development marks a significant shift in the businessman’s legal proceedings, highlighting the international reach of US legal actions.

Who is the alleged Spy?


Born in Athens, Greece, Nikos Bogonikolos is a graduate of the Kharkov National Economic University in Ukraine. Bogonikolos has Ukrainian citizenship but was based mostly in Athens.

His degree includes an emphasis on the applications of artificial intelligence in economics. Bogonikolos founded the Aratos group in 2003 in Athens and later, in 2016, was registered in the Netherlands.

The group itself, according to the Dutch Ministry of Commerce, includes “the collection, processing, protecting, and selling of earth observation data to public and private parties.” The Aratos group also has complete ownership of a full satellite ground station connected with the European operational satellite agency.

Russian Military Intelligence

Bogonikolos is accused of evading US export controls and sanctions in order to provide sensitive technologies to Russia. Through the means of the Aratos group, Bogonikolos concealed Moscow as a client and provided them with valuable military information. This information includes (but is not limited to) military antennas and quantum communication networks among other things.

According to US Attorney Breon Peace, Bogonikolos was allegedly assisting Russia’s war efforts and the development of advanced weaponry while posing as a defense contractor for NATO and allied countries.

Bogonikolos was charged with participating in a network orchestrated by Russian intelligence services, according to FBI Assistant Director Micahel J. Driscoll. This network is accused of acquiring and smuggling US-origin military and dual-use technologies in order to support Russia’s defense and security sectors.

The sensitive equipment that was purchased complied with NATO specifications and had applications in tactical battlefield conditions, space-based communications, and cryptographic communications.

Participation of the Aratos Group

Bogonikolos, Aratos Group’s former CEO, is accused of deception. In NATO competitions, Aratos Group was recognized for its innovations in space technologies, homeland security, blockchain, and drone response systems.

Despite its well-publicized international transactions, the Aratos Group is now being investigated for allegedly facilitating the illegal transfer of technology to Russia.


Bogonikolos faces extradition to the United States after being detained in France for eight months. His lawyer, Nikos Zindros, attempted to stop the extradition, claiming that any money laundering activities took place in Greece and thus the trial should take place there.

Despite these efforts, the French judicial authorities proceeded with the extradition decision after consulting with their Greek counterparts. Bogonikolos was outraged by the decision, claiming it violated his rights.

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