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Denmark company charged for violating EU sanctions on Syria

November 12, 2020 at 11:25 am

Vehicles drive along the roundabout past the Central bank of Syria in the capital Damascus’ Sabaa Bahrat Square on 17 June 2020. [LOUAI BESHARA/AFP via Getty Images]

Denmark has charged a Danish company over its alleged violation of the European Union’s sanctions on the Syrian regime and its ally Russia, after it was found to have conducted numerous deals with them over the past few years.

The Danish financial crimes unit charged the company, which it did not name but which Danish media reported was the shipping company Dan-Bunkering, over its dealings with the Russian firm named Maritime. That firm was, in turn, responsible for the supply of fuel to the Russian military and air force in Syria, which has been operational in the country since its intervention into the Syrian civil war in 2015.

The transactions between the Danish company and the Russian firm were conducted between 2015 and 2017 on 33 occasions, and reportedly amounted to 647 million kroner ($102 million).

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In a statement by Denmark’s State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime (SOIK), the company “sold a total of about 172,000 tonnes of kerosene to Russian companies, as a result of which the kerosene was delivered to Syria in violation of EU sanctions against Syria.”

Sanctions by the EU on the Syrian government began in 2011, when security forces brutally cracked down on unarmed pro-democracy protesters prior to the outbreak of the conflict, and also included bans on the importing of oil and fuel.

This latest round of EU sanctions on Syria were imposed last week, which brought the total amount of the bloc’s sanctions against the regime to 288. Such measures include restrictions against companies, businesses, individuals and other entities which have been affiliated with the regime and its war crimes and killing of the country’s civilian population.

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