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CRIME

Danish firm convicted for supplying fuel to Russia in Syria

A Danish court on Tuesday fined two companies and sentenced one of their directors to four months in jail for delivering jet fuel to the Russian air force in Syria, in violation of an EU embargo.

The Dan-Bunkering head office in Odense. The company was found guilty by a Danish court on December14th of breaching an EU embargo over trade with Syria.
The Dan-Bunkering head office in Odense. The company was found guilty by a Danish court on December 14th of breaching an EU embargo over trade with Syria. Photo: Claus Fisker/Ritzau Scanpix

The district court of Odense found the director, the company Dan-Bunkering and its parent company guilty of selling a total of around 172,000 tonnes of jet fuel to two Russian companies on 33 occasions between 2015 and 2017.

The fuel, worth nearly 90 million euros, was then delivered to Syria, where it was used to power Russian fighter jets.

The two Danish companies were fined a total of 34 million kroner (4.6 million euros).

The chief executive of Bunker Holding, Keld Demant, was given a suspended sentence of four months.

Demant made no comment as he left the court, according to an AFP correspondent at the scene.

The prosecution had requested a sentence of two years in prison and fines of 400 million kroner, in a rare trial over violating the EU embargo for Syria.

The company and its director pleaded not guilty, arguing that they could not control what their Russian clients, who were not affected by the sanctions, did with the fuel.

READ ALSO: Danish prosecutors demand prison over company’s fuel sales to Syria

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MONEY

Denmark police receive 456 reports of fraud from the corona relief fund

The National Unit for Special Crime has received 456 reports of fraud from the corona relief packages since 1st April 2020, according to a press release from the Money Laundering Secretariat (Hvidvasksekretariatet).

Denmark police receive 456 reports of fraud from the corona relief fund

The frauds and attempted frauds amount to 212 million kroner, although some of the scams were discovered before the fraudsters got the money. More than 28 million kroner has been recovered through 102 recovery operations.

According to Jørgen Andersen, deputy police inspector and head of the Money Laundering Secretariat, the task has been taken “very seriously” in the secretariat since the introduction of corona relief packages.

“And it has had a high priority with us as authorities. But also with the notifiers – here primarily banks and the accountants – and we sat down together quite quickly in a community.

“Here, we organised the effort in such a way that when banks and auditors sent notifications to us where there was a suspicion of misuse of schemes, we typically sent them within 24 hours to the authorities who paid money on these schemes”, Andersen says.

Companies or individuals should contact the Money Laundering Secretariat (Hvidvasksekretariatet) if they suspect money laundering or terrorist financing.

In October 2020, an eight-billion kroner stimulus package was agreed in parliament to help Danish businesses and cultural institutions hit by the coronavirus crisis.

The financial package also included a liquidity fund totalling 28 million kroner. 

READ ALSO: Denmark announces new coronavirus relief for businesses and culture

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