Dutch Defence Ministry official arrested for circumventing sanctions against Russia

The Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service has arrested a Ministry of Defence official accused of exporting aircraft parts to Russia through third countries despite EU sanctions against Russia.

Photo: illustrative picture

As reported by Euractiv, the 48-year-old man from Arnhem was arrested in late August. His 53-year-old accomplice, who provided the investigation with the necessary information to get on the trail of the Ministry of Defence official, was taken into custody the day before.

“Investigative information led to the search of the residence and arrest of a 48-year-old man from Arnhem on 30 August. He is also suspected of circumventing sanctions legislation through his companies… by exporting aircraft parts to Russia,” FIOD said.

“Documents, digital media and ammunition were seized at his residence. The man works for the Ministry of Defence,” the agency added.

Both men are accused of exporting spare parts to Russia through third countries after the outbreak of Russia’s full-scale war in Ukraine and the adoption of EU sanctions in February 2022.

The news comes a week after the Latvian investigative website iStories published a journalistic investigation about Western companies re-exporting aircraft parts to Russia via third countries, including Lithuanian companies.

After weeks of negotiations, EU member states agreed in June on a new package of sanctions against Russia aimed at preventing EU companies from evading sanctions through third countries.

Since the start of Russia’s full-scale war, the Latvian State Revenue Service has reportedly opened more than 200 criminal cases on sanctions violations. Still, it has not yet been able to punish any exporters.

Read also: Swiss technology is still supplying Russia’s war against Ukraine

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