The public prosecution department started 45 criminal investigations into companies and private individuals suspected of breaking Russian sanctions in the first year that they were in force, broadcaster RTL said at the weekend.
The broadcaster bases its claim on figures supplied by the public prosecution department. ‘One would expect there to be an increase in sanctions busting the longer they continue,’ department spokeswoman Els Martens said.
The EU imposed a large number of sanctions on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, including restricting imports and exports and freezing bank accounts.
In 29 of the cases under investigation, the focus is on breaking import and export restrictions. The rest centre on financial dealings.
So far only one has led to legal action – that of Dmitri K who is suspected of exporting microchips and possibly drones to Russia via Kazakhstan.
RTL also reported that customs officials singled out 357 shipments for extra checks to ensure sanctions were not being broken, finding helicopter parts and other military equipment as well as luxury goods and sports gear in the process.
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