The Rotterdam District Court sentenced a Russian citizen to 18 months in jail and a €200,000 fine on Tuesday for allegedly breaching EU sanctions in 2022 by supplying dual-use microchips and drones to the country.
Fifty-six-year-old Dmitri K., based in Gorssel in the province of Gelderland, was arrested last year after his bank notified the authorities about dubious transactions from his company’s account. He fled to Russia following his conditional release.
“The accused, as de facto manager of a company for more than seven months, is guilty of setting up and carrying out a scheme to export dual-use electronic goods and goods that could contribute to military reinforcement to companies based in Russia, in violation of (European) sanctions legislation,” the Rotterdam District Court stated in a press release.
“The defendant’s conduct deliberately and intentionally circumvented restrictions created by the European Union, thereby undermining international and domestic law,” the court added.
According to the court, K.’s company ordered the sanctioned goods on behalf of the Russian companies, often filing a fictional Ukrainian company in his end-user statements.
After verifying the completeness and functionality of the electronic goods, the defendant filed false commercial invoices with a Maldivian company as the official client, with the goods subsequently being re-exported to Russia.
The European Union has long struggled to contain the circumvention of sanctions against Russia, with restrictions on the export of dual-use goods and technology to non-EU third countries being the focus of the bloc’s 11th sanctions package, the latest to date.
Despite the Netherlands vividly advocating for a harsh sanctions regime against Russia, including establishing an EU sanctions watchdog, the country has recently been confronted with several cases of circumvention stemming from within its confines.
Back in September, a Dutch Defence Ministry official was arrested for having exported spare aeroplane parts to Russia via third countries, while several Dutch companies were fined for contributing to the construction of the Crimea bridge just one month later.
(Benedikt Stöckl | Euractiv.com)
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