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Russian-Dutch Businessman Jailed 18 Months for Sanctions Violations

The Netherlands' Prosecutor's Office. openbaarministerie.nl

A court in the Netherlands has sentenced a dual Russian-Dutch citizen to 18 months in jail for violating EU sanctions by selling computer chips to companies linked to Russia's defense sector. 

The Rotterdam District Court said Tuesday that the unidentified businessman exported dual-use electronic goods to companies “closely related to” Russia’s arms and defense industry.

Dutch law prohibits the release of a defendant’s identity during trials, and the court’s statement only mentions that the man was born in Russia and had been dealing in microchips and electronic goods for six years.

“After the sanctions were declared [on Feb. 25, 2022], the defendant’s ‘business model’ was to evade these sanctions,” the court said.

It ruled that the businessman had faked invoices for export declarations, listing a company in the Maldives as the end-user, but then re-exporting the electronic goods to Russia.

The defendant was found guilty of setting up and carrying out the sanctions-busting scheme for more than seven months as a de facto manager of an unidentified company.

The court imposed a fine of 200,000 euros ($211,000) in addition to the 18-month jail sentence.

It cited the defendant’s role as an “essential link” in the scheme and Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine as aggravating circumstances in the ruling.

Prosecutors had requested three years in jail and a fine of 350,000 euros ($370,000), according to Russia’s state news agency TASS.

TASS reported that the defendant’s company had sold 2 million euros ($2.1 million) worth of goods to a company that had dealings with Rostec, Russia’s defense and industrial conglomerate.

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