A Belarusian model who claimed she had evidence of Russian efforts to help Donald Trump win office was deported from Thailand on Thursday after being convicted of participating in a “sex training course”.
Anastasia Vashukevich, known by her pen-name Nastya Rybka, was held with several others in a police raid last February in the sleazy seaside resort of Pattaya.
In a case that veered between salacious and bizarre, Vashukevich said she had travelled to Thailand after becoming embroiled in a political scandal with Russian aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska — a one-time associate of Trump’s disgraced former campaign director Paul Manafort.
She then set tongues wagging by promising to reveal “missing puzzle pieces” regarding claims the Kremlin aided Trump’s 2016 presidential election victory.
But the material never surfaced and critics dismissed the claims as a publicity stunt.
In the risque Pattaya seminar led by Alex Kirillov, a self-styled Russian seduction guru, some participants wore shirts that said “sex animator” — though one person at the time described it as more of a romance and relationship course.
Vashukevich pleaded guilty alongside seven others to multiple charges, including solicitation and illegal assembly at a Pattaya court on Tuesday, which ordered the group be deported.
On Thursday afternoon, Vashukevich and the majority of the convicted were put on an Aeroflot flight for Moscow, bringing to an end the Thai side of a baffling case.
Thailand’s immigration chief Surachate Hakparn said the last of the group would leave the country this evening.
It was unclear what would happen to them — including Vashukevich — on arrival in Moscow.
Vashukevich, who has more than 120,000 followers on Instagram and penned a book about seducing oligarchs, also faces legal problems in Russia.
Deripaska won an invasion of privacy lawsuit against her and Kirillov in July after a video apparently filmed by the model showed the tycoon vacationing with an influential Russian deputy prime minister at the time.
Both Washington and Moscow publicly shrugged off Vashukevich’s story, which the US State Department described as “bizarre”.
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Iran probes seized UK-flagged tanker — Britain to hold emergency meeting
ran warned Sunday that the fate of a UK-flagged tanker it seized in the Gulf depends on an investigation, as Britain prepared for an emergency security meeting on Tehran's action.
Iranian authorities impounded the Stena Impero with 23 crew members aboard off the port of Bandar Abbas after the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps seized it Friday in the highly sensitive Strait of Hormuz.
Video footage released by Iran showed the Stena Impero tanker being surrounded by speedboats before troops in balaclavas descend a rope from a helicopter onto the vessel.
In an audio recording of a radio exchange, an Iranian officer can be heard ordering the tanker to change course "immediately".
For Cubans — a day at the beach is no easy task
Cuba's constitution guarantees its people access to its beaches, but many locals are unable to enjoy the island's pristine white sands and crystal clear blue waters.
While foreign tourists flock to such paradisiacal Havana sites as Varadero, which was this year named the second most-beautiful beach in the world by American travel website TripAdvisor, Cubans are typically found elsewhere.
"Not many tourists come here," said 43-year-old Rey Gonzalez, who was enjoying a day at Guanabo, a beach east of the capital.
Guanabo's sand isn't as white and the water not quite as clear as Varadero's, but that mattered little to Gonzalez, who was there with his family.