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British man charged with acting on behalf of Russia in plot to torch Ukrainian-linked business

In World
April 26, 2024

LONDON (AP) — A British man accused of plotting to torch a London business connected to Ukraine has been charged with conducting hostile activity to benefit Russia, prosecutors said Friday.

Dylan Earl, 20, is connected to Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, which the U.K. government has declared a banned terrorist organization, prosecutors said.

Earl is accused of fraudulent activity, research and reconnaissance of targets, and attempting to recruit others to assist a foreign intelligence service carrying out activities in the U.K.

“Included in the alleged activity was involvement in the planning of an arson attack on a Ukrainian-linked commercial property in March,” said Nick Price, head of the Crown Prosecution Service Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division.

He allegedly planned and paid others to burn down two industrial properties in east London on March 20.

He is the first person to be charged under the National Security Act 2023.

Four other men face charges connected to the case.

Jake Reeves, 22, was charged with agreeing to accept a material benefit from a foreign intelligence service and aggravated arson.

Dmitrijus Paulauska, 22, was charged with having information about terrorist acts.

Paul English, 60, and Nii Mensah, 21, face aggravated arson charges.

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