European Sanctions Enforcement – milestone of over 2000 announced and active investigations reached

With the recent news that Finland has increased the number of its ongoing investigations, Europe (meaning the EU, the UK, Switzerland, etc) has reached the milestone of over 2,000 ongoing and public sanctions enforcement investigations being undertaken by regulators and prosecutors.

No doubt there are other investigations which are ongoing in the countries shown on the graph, and no doubt there are investigations ongoing in countries not shown and which remain confidential.

How many of these will be dropped due to inconclusive evidence or exculpatory evidence, and how many will lead to a conviction or fine or acquittal is impossible to say.

It is, without question, an unprecedented level of enforcement.


Belgium – multiple raids related to Russian diamonds

On Friday the Antwerp Public Prosecutor’s office announced that it conducted six raids and arrested four individuals in relation to suspected breaches of the EU’s trade sanctions relating to Russian diamonds.

It is being reported that the investigation arose after the seizure of a cargo of diamonds on February, and that a total of three shipments had been seized with a reported value of over €8 million.

Belgium – raids and arrests for Russian sanctions

It has been reported today that the Belgian authorities, after a tip-off from unnamed US “agencies” have conducted searches at homes and business addresses in Knokke-Heist and Eeklo.

The Belgian government announcement is here.

Related search and arrests took place in the Netherlands (see our related post) at the same time, and in total across both countries six have been arrested, four of whom were arrested in Belgium

The allegations relate to the export of products and technology to Russia.

Belgium – convictions for breaching Syrian sanctions

It was reported today that the Penal Court of Antwerp has convicted three Belgian  companies and associated individuals of breaching the EU’s Syrian sanctions by exporting 168 tons of isopropranol which is a dual-use product.

AAE Chemie Trading was conditionally fined €346,443 with €50,000 effective. Anex Customs was fined €500,000 of which €100,000 is effective and Danmar Logistics were fined between €75,000 of which €50,000 is effective

Rolf Rippen, the manager of AAE Chemie Trading was sentenced to four months in jail suspended, while Herman Van Landeghem, a manager of Anex Customs and Danmar Logistics, received a 12-month custodial sentence.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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