Dutch arrest man for allegedly selling microchips to Russia

A Russian missile lies in the garden of a house in Kramatorsk, in Ukraine's Donetsk region, on Oct 4, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS

THE HAGUE - Dutch authorities have arrested a man on suspicion of selling microchips to Russia in breach of sanctions imposed by the West over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, officials said on Friday.

The microchips, sold to companies and other bodies in Russia, could be used for military purposes, the Dutch financial and fiscal crime investigation service (FIOD) said.

The 55-year-old suspect has dual Dutch and Russian nationality, a FIOD spokeswoman told AFP.

He was arrested in the east of the Netherlands on Sept 27 following a report from a bank to financial investigators.

"The suspect is believed to have supplied microchips to companies or entities in Russia, among other things. These microchips can also be used for the production of weapons," FIOD said in a statement.

"It is known that the Russian arms industry is currently struggling with a serious shortage of these microchips."

The suspect is believed to have pretended the microchips were destined for somewhere else in order to evade the sanctions, FIOD said.

His private and business bank accounts and stocks of electronic goods have been seized, it added.

The man was placed in custody on Sept 30 by an examining magistrate, it said.

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The investigation also involved the European Union police agency Europol and Dutch customs.

Europol said in a statement that the suspect was "believed to be circumventing the EU trade sanctions against Russia."

Western countries have imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Russia since its Feb 24 invasion of Ukraine.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said last month, ahead of the adoption of a fresh round of sanctions, that the "aim is here to deprive the Kremlin's military complex of key technologies". AFP

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