German Police Arrested Man For Supply Engines Worth $3 Million For Russian Orlan-10 Drone

A German entrepreneur residing in the vicinity of Kassel, Germany, has been arrested on charges of sanctions evasion and supplying drone engines to Russia valued at almost $3 million, according to DW public broadcast service.

The investigation, which led to the tech entrepreneur’s arrest, was conducted by the German Customs Criminal Investigation Department and the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Frankfurt am Main.

Authorities have executed search warrants at six residential and commercial properties linked to the businessman. They suspect him of bypassing sanctions by providing Russia with drone engines, which are being used in the ongoing conflict with Ukraine. These engines have applications in Russian reconnaissance drones, including the “Orlan-10.”

Reportedly, between 2022 and 2023, the entrepreneur facilitated the supply of engines for radio-controlled models, electronic components, and other materials to companies based in St. Petersburg, Russia, through a firm in Hong Kong.

In the summer of 2023, investigators from the Customs Criminal Investigation Department seized a total of 120 such drone engines from the company, thus thwarting a potential export to Russia.

Moreover, the entrepreneur is also accused of illegally exporting two high-value vehicles to Russia, which were routed through Hong Kong to circumvent existing sanctions. The total worth of the goods he allegedly exported to Russia in violation of sanctions amounts to approximately $3 million.

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