Two people arrested for their alleged involvement in a crime of smuggling defense material destined for Russia

Agents of the Spanish National Police and the Customs Surveillance Service of the Tax Agency have arrested two people of Russian and Ukrainian nationality in the Gipuzkoan towns of Irún and Ondarribia for their alleged participation in a crime of smuggling defense material.

The investigation began in June 2021 when the agents learned of the presence in Spain of a couple of Ukrainian nationality who would be running a supply chain of military aeronautical material from a Spanish company, evading the controls established by current legislation in that material and, therefore, committing a crime of smuggling.

Crimes related to the illicit trafficking of defense materials and dual-use technologies

Among the functions carried out by the General Information Commissariat of the National Police is the investigation of crimes related to the illicit trafficking of defense materials and dual-use technologies, from the reference framework of community control regulations and international embargoes. .

For its part, the Deputy Directorate of Customs Surveillance, of the Customs and Excise Department of the State Tax Administration Agency, within its powers for the discovery, prosecution and repression of acts and offenses of smuggling, exercises, among other functions, the control of international trade operations.

In the current scenario of war in Ukraine, the supply chains of the Russian military industry have been seriously damaged by the application of Council Regulation (EU) 833/2014, regarding restrictive measures motivated by Russian actions that destabilize the situation. in Ukraine and its subsequent reinforcement as a result of the Russian invasion of February 2022.

The framework on which intervention has been made was designed for the supply of military equipment in the aeronautical sector. The operation was triggered in an attempt to prevent the imminent departure from European territory of a shipment of glass for military aircraft cockpits.

The analysis of the operations led to the emergence of a framework that had been designed by sophisticated customs engineering, at an international level, to carry out operations in which the destination of the goods was declared to be countries not subject to embargo, with Russia actually being their final destination.

As a result of the intervention of the agents, two arrests have materialized and the consequent house searches, in which physical documentation and computer effects have been intervened, in addition to two high-end vehicles.

The operation has been carried out jointly by the General Information Commissioner, the Deputy Directorate of Customs Surveillance and the Provincial Information Brigade of San Sebastián, under the direction of the Central Court of Instruction number Five of the National Court and the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office .

The investigation remains open in order to prove other illegal commercial operations of the same nature already carried out as well as those that are underway and to proceed to the full identification, location and arrest of other individuals involved in these events.