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Finland sentences businessman to 9 months probation for evading sanctions

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk March 7, 2024 2:28 PM 1 min read
Finnish and EU flags fly outside the Finnish embassy in Moscow on June 7, 2023. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP via Getty Images)
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A court in Finland sentenced Estonian-French businessman Gabriel Temin to nine months probation on March 7 after dismissing most of the charges brought against him in a sanctions evasion case.

This is the first sentencing in Finland related to violations of sanctions against Russia, according to Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.

The Ita-Uusimaa district court sentenced Temin, who has been sanctioned by the EU and U.S., to a nine-month suspended prison sentence for exporting equipment to Russia via Kazakhstan.

Trade data shows that central Asian countries like Kazakhstan have increased their exports of dual-use goods to Russia since 2022. Acting as a third-party country, sanctioned goods can be imported from the EU and re-exported to Russia.

Through two of his companies, Siberica and Luminor, Temin was accused of exporting goods to Russia that are prohibited under EU sanctions.

According to local newspaper Iisalmi Sanomat, the prosecutors listed 30 individual acts of sanctions evasion, but the court convicted Temin of just two crimes.

Siberica exported goods "between August and September 2022, where customs had been notified of the destination as Kazakhstan, but the goods had gone to St. Petersburg," Iisalmi Sanomat reported.

According to the newspaper, Temin was sent tools to Russia with a total value of 4,500 euros ($5,000). The court ruled this was a regulatory crime.

Temin's other company, Luminor, bought devices designed to block drones worth 400,000 euros ($436,000) from Taiwan.

Luminor then sold this equipment to Kazakhstan "without the required permit for the export of supplies, and it was suspected that they might have ended up in Russia's military operation" in Ukraine, Helsingin Sanomat said.

The court ruled, however, that there was "not sufficient evidence that the destination of the goods was Russia." The court declared Temin had committed a crime by exporting the goods from Finland.

Temin was also accused of exporting 3,500 drones to Russia, but the court ruled that there was only "circumstantial evidence" to demonstrate that the drones were intentionally exported to Russia.

Temin exported the goods between 2022 and 2023.

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