Criminal proceedings launched in Finland for sanctions-busting drone shipment to Russia

Criminal proceedings have begun in Finland over the supply of 3,500 drones to Russia in violation of sanctions. The drones were valued at more than €2 million, according to Finnish Customs.

The drones were officially in transit through Russia and were due to be exported to other countries. Finnish investigators believe the shipment, which also included microprocessor control units and semiconductor components worth a total of €600,000, remained in the Russian Federation.

Finnish Customs also believes that Russia may have retained anti-drone systems that were due to go to Kazakhstan. They were valued at approximately €350,000.

The customs authority believes a single person supplied the drones and other equipment. They claim one of the companies owned by this individual purchased the goods, and another dispatched them to Russia. There are reasons to believe that this scheme was “carried out and financed from Russia”, says Hannu Sinkkonen, enforcement director at Finnish Customs.

In total, six people are suspected of violating sanctions, one of whom was arrested in September. The case is due to be handed to the Finnish prosecutor’s office within a month.

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