Man suspected of selling microchips to Moscow is in Russia: AD


A 55-year-old dual Dutch Russian national who was last year arrested on suspicion of supplying microchips to Russia failed to turn up in court on Tuesday, the AD reported.

The man, named as Dimitri K, was released from custody after 2.5 months on personal grounds but now appears to have gone back to Russia along with his family, the AD said. 

He may have left to go to look after his seriously ill mother-in-law but, the public prosecution department told the paper “we think that he has taken off”. 

The spokesman said the department had also been told K’s house will be sold on a court order in July after he failed to pay the mortgage for several months. 

K was arrested in September after an investigation involving the Dutch finance ministry and Europol. The probe had been sparked following a report by an un-named bank to the financial intelligence unit FIU.

According to the AD, in May, shortly after sanctions were introduced, K officially changed his shop from a radio and electronics specialist to trading in paper and other office supplies.

In reality, however, he continued to sell microchips, using a company in the Maledives as a cover. Between June and September, he falsified eight invoices, the public prosecution department told a preliminary court hearing.

 The microchips and other hardware ended up with a Moscow-based company that did business with high-tech firm Rostec, which in turn supplies the weapons industry, the AD quoted the department as saying. He also tried to ship drones to Russia, ‘the same type as those used by the Russian army’, the spokeswoman said.

K’s lawyer Christian Visser told a preliminary hearing last year that there is no evidence his client’s products had ended up with the Russian army. Nor is €2 million worth of goods involved, as the prosecutor claimed, he said. In addition, Visser said, K had changed the name of his shop because another company had a similar name.

K is a dual Russian Dutch national and has lived in the Netherlands for 30 years.

The Dutch military security service MIVD warned at the end of October Russia was using front companies in an effort to obtain western technology.

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