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Finnish Firms Suspected of Smuggling Drones to Russia

Two Finnish companies are suspected of having exported drones and other military classified products worth over three million euros to Russia in violation of EU sanctions, Finnish Customs said Tuesday.

“There are altogether six criminal suspects, one of whom has been detained since September,” the customs agency said in a statement.

It said that nearly 3,500 drones are thought to have ended up in Russia as a result.

In the conflict in Ukraine, drones have been extensively employed, including reconnaissance and the delivery of explosives.

The products also included microcontrollers, semiconductor devices, and defense materiel designed for stopping drones.

The items were approved for export to a different nation, but ultimately found their way into Russia, the authorities suspect.

In the case of the anti-drone equipment, for example, the products were cleared for Kazakhstan.

The customs agency said that “one individual is responsible for both of the companies under investigation.”

One of the companies oversaw the purchasing of the sanctioned products and the other forwarded the goods to Russia, according to Finnish Customs.

“Our preliminary investigation indicates that the activity has been run in Russia,” Hannu Sinkkonen, customs’ director of enforcement, said in a statement.

The case involves regulation offenses and a defense materiel export offense and will be taken over by a prosecutor in December.

Following the invasion of Ukraine, the EU has imposed 12 sets of sanctions on Russia, targeting essential oil and gas exports, as well as technology and military products, among other items.

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