Switzerland’s prosecutors investigate 2 companies for for violating anti-Russian sanctions

Swiss authorities are reportedly investigating local companies for violating anti-Russian sanctions.

According to Swiss public radio station SRF, two Swiss commodity trading firms have used subsidiaries in third nations to circumvent sanctions imposed on Russia, SwissInfo reported. Reportedly, the companies placed the middlemen in the UAE or other Gulf states.

After Russia launched an all-out war against Ukraine, Switzerland adopted sanctions against Moscow, including a price cap on Russian oil. The sanctions aim to reduce Putin’s capacity to wage war.

Some commodity trading corporations, which were based in Switzerland, transferred their business away from the country to intermediaries in the Gulf States, which have not placed sanctions on Russia.

The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs investigated suspected behaviors and uncovered two cases of serious offenses. SECO has handed over the findings of its investigation to Switzerland’s Office of the Attorney General for further prosecution.

According to the Swiss Embargo Act, this procedure is possible in particularly serious cases, as SECO can investigate and punish minor offenses itself.

The companies face a maximum fine of $1 million. It may be the first time Switzerland has imposed financial penalties on local firms for violating anti-Russian sanctions.

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