In January 2024, Dutch, German, Latvian and Lithuanian authorities conducted an action day against criminals suspected of circumventing EU sanctions against Russia. Europol and Eurojust supported this investigation, which led to the arrest of three suspects as well as several house and business premises searches. Investigations revealed that a Dutch company were ordering dual-use goods from Germany, and then shipping them directly to Latvia and Lithuania. From there, the goods would cross the border into Russia. Exporting such goods could be classified as a breach of the EU’s massive and unprecedented sanctions imposed against Russia in response to Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.
Deliberate breach of EU sanctions against Russia
Investigations into the case were initiated at the end of 2022 by the Dutch authorities and led to the uncovering of a web of enterprises that were used to circumvent the ban for exports to Russia. Europol supported the investigation by providing analytical support, as well as conducting crosschecks on the data gathered during the searches.
Eurojust enabled the cross-border judicial cooperation and organised a coordination meeting to prepare for the joint actions, at the request of the Dutch authorities. Eurojust also set up a coordination centre during the action day in January 2024, which took place simultaneously in all of the involved countries.