Dutch prosecutors say man arrested on suspicion of selling computer chips to Russia

A view shows Palace embankment and the State Hermitage Museum before the architectural lights' partial switching off, introduced to save the city budget during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Saint Petersburg, Russia May 3, 2020. Picture taken May 3, 2020. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

AMSTERDAM, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Dutch financial crime investigators on Friday said they had arrested a 55-year-old man on suspicion of selling computer chips that could be used in weapons to Russia, in violation of national sanctions law.

The arrest is the first of its kind in the Netherlands since Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine led to European sanctions against Russia including a ban on electronics exports.

Prosecutors said in a statement they had arrested the suspect in the east of the country and seized evidence including his inventory of electronics, his bank accounts, and his administration.

"The suspicion is that the suspect delivered among other things microchips to entities and companies in Russia," the country's financial crimes investigatory agency (FIOD) said in a statement.

"These microchips can be used for the production of weapons."

The suspect "consciously pretended" the goods he exported were to be used elsewhere than their real destination, Russia, the statement said.

The arrest was made on Sept. 30 and the suspect remains in custody after approval of a judge, the FIOD said.

Dutch public prosecutors and customs officers worked together on the arrest, with support from European police coordination agency Europol.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Jon Boyle, William Maclean

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.