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The Baikonur Cosmodrome serves as a launch site for Russian space missions
British YouTube travel blogger Benjamin Rich has cleared the air about reports of his arrest at the Baikonur Cosmodrome spaceport in Kazakhstan.
Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, said Saturday that British YouTube travel blogger Benjamin Rich and Belarusian national Alina Tseliupa had been arrested at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Rich said he was not arrested by any means in an Instagram story.
"I was questioned by Russian police for a few hours for going to see the Buran rocket without the special permission and given a £60 administrative fine," Rich said in the Instagram story.
The Buran space shuttle flew only once from the Baikonur in 1988, after which the Soviet Union struggled to find funds for the space shuttle program.
Rich added he was fined like "hundreds" others before him and that it wasn't a criminal offense to not have the permission slip: "It's an administrative offense meaning just a fine and told not to do again."
He said he was writing the story from his hotel.
In an online post, Rogozin said Rich and Tseliupa had been detained near one of the launch pads, adding that the pair were being held by city authorities.
Rogozin shared photos of Rich's visa and Tseliupa's passport.
"At 6:10 p.m. Moscow time, a report was received from the [Baikonur] Space Center about the detention of British citizen Rich Benjamin and Belarusian citizen Tseliupa Alina," Rogozin wrote on Telegram. He said the pair had been "linked to the organization of illegal actions" but gave no further information.
Rich, whose Bald and Bankrupt channel has some 3.53 million followers, posted a video of himself traveling to Syria on April 24.
The 48-year-old, who can speak Russian, said in an online post a week ago that he had a "Syrian suntan and back in a country with Soviet mosiacs," but did not say his location.
rm, ar/wd (AFP, Reuters)
Updated : 2022-05-09 09:22 GMT+08:00
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