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31 Okt 2023

AP News

Netherlands: Court convicts Russian businessman to 18 months in jail for exporting dual-use components to Russian defence industry despite sanctions

Dutch court sentences Russian businessman to 18 months for busting sanctions targeting Moscow, 31 October 2023

A Dutch court convicted a Russian businessman...of exporting computer chips and other electronic products to the Russian arms and defense industry in violation of European Union sanctions and sentenced him to 18 months in jail.

The EU has slapped Moscow with a series of wide-ranging sanctions since its illegal invasion of Ukraine last year sparked a war now in its 20th month. Rotterdam District Court said in a statement that the man turned sanctions evasion into a “revenue model.”

The man, whose identity was not released in line with Dutch court rules, exported “dual-use” products that can have both civil and military applications to companies linked to the arms industry in Russia for a period of more than seven months.

The court ruled that he faked invoices for the exports and sent them to Russia via a company in the Maldives.

Calling him an “essential link” in the scheme, the court said he “knowingly and deliberately circumvented” EU sanctions.

“He has seriously damaged the intended purpose of the sanctions, which is to cut off critical technology for Russia that could contribute to the technological improvement of Russia’s defense and security sector,” the court said.

The defendant’s company was fined 200,000 euros ($212,000) for its role in the scheme.