Law lecturer arrested for circumventing sanctions against Russia

Lecturer Freek S. from the Faculty of Law was arrested in early January for circumventing sanctions against Russia. He served as the director of a company until June of last year, which was allegedly part of an international smuggling network.

S. teaches tax law at the UG and specialises in areas such as international tax law and dividend tax. Two other executives of the company – a man and a woman – have also been arrested.

Laboratory goods

The company, ETW Tekhnologyia BV, was established in 2017 for the import, export, and sale of laboratory and electronic goods, among other things. The company purchased goods in Europe and had them transported to Russia through Eastern European countries.

In December, news programme Nieuwsuur aired a report on ETW. It revealed that exports to Russia continued after the invasion of Ukraine. According to S., who was extensively interviewed in the broadcast, the shipments involved hospital supplies.

‘Useful idiot’

But electronics were also sent via Russia to destinations such as Dubai – however, the shipments did not reach their official destination. According to S., he was initially unaware of this. He said he felt used, and when he realised what was happening, he ceased his activities for ETW. ‘I think I was a useful idiot, and I don’t like admitting that,’ he told Nieuwsuur.

UG spokesperson Anja Hulshof confirms that S. has a 0.2 FTE appointment at the UG. He has not been suspended for the time being. ‘We will wait to see the results of the investigation’, she says. ‘After all, in the Netherlands, people are considered innocent until proven guilty.’


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