SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Seven Dutch companies are being investigated by the justice department for allegedly dodging trading sanctions against Russia. The companies, whose names have not been divulged, are suspected of selling heavy machinery to the country to help build a bridge between Crimea and Russia, the AD reports.
According to sources quoted by regional paper the Gelderlander, two of the suspected companies are Dematec Equipment from Dodewaard and Biljard Hydrauliek from Milsbeek.
The santions came into force in 2014 following the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the 19km long bridge, which is due to open tomorrow, is another poke in the eye for the West, the AD said.
For the Netherlands the alleged Dutch involvement is all the more embarrassing because of the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine by what is thought to be pro-Russian rebels, killing 193 people.
If the companies are found to have broken the embargo by providing goods and services, this will be seen by the European court of justice as ‘undermining the territorial integrity of Ukraine’.
Sanctions could include up to €820,000 fines for the companies and €82,000 fines or even custodial sentences of up to 6 years for the individuals involved. (DutchNews)