A court in the Dutch city of Rotterdam sentenced a Russian businessman to 18 months in prison and fined his company 200,000 euros for breaking EU-imposed sanctions against Russia, Reuters said, citing a court report released on Oct. 31.
The suspect in question, a Russian citizen named Dmitri K by prosecutors, was tried in absentia because it is thought that he had fled the country after being initially charged in 2022.
The man was convicted for his role in transporting dual-use technologies, such as microchips and other electronic goods, via foreign companies in order to disguise that the intended final destination was Russia.
According to the court documents, Dmitri K forged order forms so that it would appear as if the goods were being shipped to a company in the Maldives, as well as a fake company registered in Ukraine.
The exported goods can have both civilian and military uses and are the subject of sanctions that ban their transport to Russia.
Dmitri K had been involved in the import/export of such dual-use goods for more than six years, the court said, and was fully aware that he was violating sanctions through his actions.
It is unclear if Dmitri K or his company were actively involved in exporting goods that would be eventually used by the Russian military or Russia's defense industry, but this ultimately proved to be irrelevant, as the act of violating sanctions alone constituted a punishable offense.
The use of companies in third-party countries has allowed Western-made components used in Russian military hardware to continue to flow to Russia despite the wide-ranging sanctions imposed on their export.
The EU is considering a 12th round of sanctions against Russia that will, in part, aim to plug the holes that have made the circumvention of sanctions possible.