5 Apr, 2023 @ 19:45
1 min read

Military aeroplane equipment smugglers arrested in Spain with gear destined for Russia

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THE Policia Nacional and Tax Agency have arrested two people in the Basque Country for smuggling military aeronautical equipment to Russia- breaching an EU ban imposed due to the war in Ukraine

A Russian and a Ukrainian were detained on unspecified dates in the towns of Irun and Ondarriba.

“The arrests prevented the imminent dispatching from EU territory of equipment for military aircraft cockpits in Russia,” said the Interior Ministry in a statement.

The police probe began in June 2021 when authorities heard about a Ukrainian couple who ran a company in Spain as part of a supply chain of military aeronautical supplies.

They by-passed customs checks to bust the EU embargo on exports to Russia.

A review of the company’s export logs uncovered a network to supply military equipment to the Russian air force helped by a ‘strong knowledge of transportation logistics’, according to the Interior Ministry.

They said the firm had designed a ‘sophisticated system of international customs documentation’ that allowed it to ship items to non-embargoed countries to mask the final destination as Russia.

During a visit to the company’s premises, police and tax officers removed computers and documents, in addition to two high-end cars.

One of the two arrested people was involved in running the firm and has been jailed ahead of a trial.

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