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Netherlands

Dutch shipping company caught violating Libya arms embargo

The Public Prosecution Service (OM) has launched a criminal investigation into a Dutch shipping company suspected of violating the arms embargo against Libya. A freighter from Shipping Company Groningen was caught trying to transport armored vehicles to Libya last year, the OM confirmed to RTL Nieuws.

According to the UN committee that monitors the Lybian arms embargo, the Groningen company violated the applicable sanctions. The strict economic and military sanctions against Libya are intended to snuff out the civil war that’s raged in the country since 2011.

A navy ship from the UN military mission IRINI, which patrols the Mediterranean Sea to prevent arms embargo violations, intercepted the Dutch cargo ship MV Meerdijk on 11 October 2022. On board, IRINI inspectors found 41 armored all-terrain vehicles from a factory in the United Arab Emirates. The cargo was destined for Benghazi in Libya.

IRINI diverted the Dutch freighter to the French port city of Marseille, where the armored vehicles were seized for violating sanctions. The MV Meerdijk was then allowed to continue on its way.

According to the UN inspectors, the MV Meerdijk’s administration lacked an “end user declaration” – an important document when shipping military goods. The UN inspectors contacted Shipping Company Groningen to request clarification but got no response.

According to RTL, the shipping company also wouldn’t respond to its questions on the matter. After the seizure of the armored vehicles in October last year, the company released a statement saying that it had acted fully in line with the applicable regulations, possessed all necessary permits and documentation, and cooperated fully with the IRINI inspectors’ investigation.

https://nltimes.nl/2023/10/25/dutch-shipping-company-caught-violating-libya-arms-embargo Dutch shipping company caught violating Libya arms embargo

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