Benjamin Rich, a British YouTube travel blogger who specialises in distant and sometimes dangerous regions of the world, was arrested at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Saturday, according to the president of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
Rich – whose Bald and Bankrupt channel has 3.53 million followers – and Alina Tseliupa were seized near one of the launch pads at Baikonur, which Russia rents from Kazakhstan, according to Dmitry Rogozin in an online post.
According to Rogozin, who shared photographs of Rich’s visa and Tseliupa’s passport, local officials are determining “the exact extent of engagement in unlawful operations” by the two. Alina appears in some of Rich’s videos, but it’s unclear whether she and Tseliupa are the same person.
Rich’s most recent video, which was shot in Syria and released on April 24, was shot there. Rich remarked “Syrian suntan and back in a nation with Soviet mosaics” in an Instagram post last week, but did not say where he was.
The British Foreign Office in London did not respond immediately.
Baikonur, once a restricted Soviet city, is now open to travellers who get Roscosmos clearance. It is located in the steppe about 1,100 kilometres (680 miles) southwest of Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan’s capital.
Melissa Lee is a British Journalist. She is an aspiring journalist with a natural curiosity in how the media functions. She resides in Edinburgh, Britain. She is currently working as a journalist at The Shining Media.