BERLIN, (BM) – A spy scandal is about to shake Europe again after a man was arrested in Germany today for selling banned dual-use goods to Russia. Berlin announced this news, citing a press release from the prosecutor’s office in Germany.
The detainee, whose name is presented only as Alexander S., ran a company to sell dual-use goods, which the businessman exported to Russia without the necessary export licenses. Also, these goods are from the “list of goods banned for export to Russia,” the prosecutor’s office revealed. The company run by the detained businessman is under the management of the Kremlin, the statement said.
Customs officers detained the man in Leipzig. An investigation has been launched to establish the violations committed by the businessman and the company he runs. According to German sources, Russia has acquired machines and technical equipment worth several million euros, which is using to produce weapons in the defense industry.
The prosecutor’s office also claims that with the detention of Alexander S., Berlin terminated the next deal with devices used in rocketry. An inspection of the company’s assets and offices in Leipzig and Berlin is currently underway.
“This company acted as an intermediary by purchasing high-quality metal-cutting machines and sending them to arms companies in Russia,” a statement from the German prosecutor’s office said.
The prosecutor’s office claims that in 2019 Moscow acquired some of the sent machines without an export license. However, the authorities in Berlin have not yet been able to confirm how much of all prepared export trade agreements are over. Also, Berlin investigates what part of the sold equipment has not been sent to Moscow.
Alexander S. is threatened with at least three charges – action in favor of a foreign intelligence agency, espionage, violated export bans, and trade in missing export licenses.
According to investigators, Alexander S. earned approximately 8 million euros with the Kremlin in 2016-2018.
Russian agents under fire
Russian agents have been targeted in Europe for the past 12 months. We remind you that a few months ago, the Bulgarian prosecutor’s office arrested a group of former and current Bulgarian officers accused of espionage in favor of Russia. According to the Moscow prosecutor’s office, sensitive information about Bulgaria’s defense was provided by a group of Kremlin officials through the Russian embassy in Sofia.
Shortly before that, Ukraine arrested a Russian agent on charges of industrial espionage. According to Ukrainian authorities, the Russian agent, a member of the GRU’s military unit, tried to obtain sensitive information about the T-84BM Oplot tank manufacturing in Ukraine.
Last year, Bulgaria expelled a Russian spy
The latest case is from December last year, when the embassy’s military attache, Vasily Sazanovich, was expelled for gathering information about the US military in Bulgaria. The prosecution was a scenario – first, the prosecutor’s office released a report of revealed espionage, then the Foreign Ministry declared the person’s persona non grata.
“Putin knows me well, and he knows I don’t give in to pressure, and I didn’t expel Russian diplomats when everyone was persecuting. But when a high-ranking diplomat caught him recruiting my superiors, I immediately parried him! If I send a spy to recruit one of the chiefs of services of President Putin, the persecution will be a minor punishment for him “, commented in one of the cases the Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.
The United States usually supports the actions of the Bulgarian services on this topic with official positions.
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