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Dutch Defence Ministry Official Arrested for Allegedly Evading EU Sanctions Against Russia

SanctionsDutch Defence Ministry Official Arrested for Allegedly Evading EU Sanctions Against Russia

The Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) has arrested a Defence Ministry official and his accomplice for allegedly evading EU sanctions against Russia by exporting spare aircraft parts to Russia through third countries. The 48-year-old official from Arnhem was arrested in late August, while his 53-year-old accomplice, who provided investigators with crucial information, was arrested a day earlier.

The charges involve the export of spare aircraft parts to Russia through third countries following the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine and the imposition of EU sanctions in February of the previous year. The FIOD seized records, digital data carriers, and ammunition at the official’s residence, noting that he is employed by the Ministry of Defence.

This development comes after a report by the Russian investigative website iStories revealed how Western companies, including some in Lithuania, were re-exporting spare airplane parts to Russia via third countries.

In June, EU member states agreed on a new sanctions package against Russia aimed at targeting the evasion of sanctions by EU-based companies through third countries. The Netherlands has been among the EU’s more assertive members in enforcing sanctions against Russia, making this arrest all the more significant.

Earlier in the year, then-Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra called for the establishment of a centralized EU sanctions watchdog to better monitor and penalize attempts to evade EU sanctions against Russia.

As of now, the Defence Ministry has not commented on the issue.

By FCCT Editorial Team

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity.

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