German accused of delivering machinery to Russian military

A German businessman has been arrested on suspicion of delivering machinery to the Russian military in violation of European Union sanctions against the country, prosecutors said Thursday.

The suspect, the boss of a company based in southern Germany who was identified only as Alexander S. in line with German privacy rules, was detained Tuesday in Augsburg, federal prosecutors said in a statement. His apartment and company premises were searched.

He is accused of delivering machine tools to “military final recipients” in Russia and trying to cover up who they were destined for by sending them to various sham recipients and making false declarations about their intended use. Prosecutors say seven deliveries worth a total of about 8 million euros ($8.7 million) were made between January 2016 and January 2018.

All of the tools delivered were so-called dual-use goods that could be used for either civilian or military purposes, prosecutors said. Those can’t be exported to Russia under current EU rules if they are or could be destined for the military.

A judge on Wednesday ordered the man held pending possible charges of violating export laws.