Dieseko Group B.V. accepts settlement agreement with the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service

Dieseko Group B.V. (Dieseko) has accepted a settlement agreement offered by the Netherlands Public Prosecution Service (NPPS) for a total amount of 1,780,000 euros. The NPPS accused the company of violating international trade sanctions.

Criminal offences committed by Dieseko

On 1 September 2017, newspaper De Gelderlander published an article on the involvement of Dutch companies in the construction of the Crimean Bridge. This news prompted the Team Precursors, Strategic Goods and Sanctions (Team POSS) and the NPPS to launch a criminal investigation into these companies. Soon after, several media also reported about Dieseko's possible involvement in the construction of the Crimean Bridge. Following these reports, NPPS decided to open a criminal investigation into Dieseko as well.

This investigation revealed that Dieseko sold pile drivers and related parts for the construction of the Crimean Bridge throughout the period 2015-2016. Dieseko provided technical assistance for the products supplied as well, for example by carrying out work on site by Dieseko technicians.

Undermining international sanctions

In its business activities relating to the construction of the Crimean Bridge, Dieseko committed violations of sanctions laws and regulations. The NPPS views this behaviour as particularly objectionable for a number of reasons.

International sanctions are imposed on countries, organisations, companies and individuals if a threat to international peace and security arises. In June 2014, the European Union (EU) imposed sanctions following Russia's annexation of Crimea and Sebastopol. In Regulation (EU) No 692/2014 of 23 June 2014, the Council of the EU condemned this illegal annexation. Under these sanctions, the sale of goods and provision of technical assistance to individuals and companies in Crimea or for use in Crimea has since been prohibited in certain cases.

The Netherlands is committed to the enforcement of EU sanctions. Dieseko's actions undermine international sanctions. Non-compliance with sanctions resulted in the construction of the Crimean Bridge (in part) through the use of Dutch knowledge and expertise.

Considerations for offering a settlement

The NPPS considers payment of 1,780,000 euros as an appropriate and effective settlement. Dieseko acknowledged the facts and has not previously been convicted of criminal offences. Remediation measures and compliance measures to prevent (re)committing of offences have also been taken by Dieseko.

Settlement agreement

The investigation into Dieseko was concluded with a settlement. The settlement agreement includes both a penalty and a confiscation component. 

The maximum fine per offence in the relevant period was (rounded) 80,000 euros. In determining the level of the fine, the NPPS took into account the number of offences (namely: three), the elapsed years since the offences, the seriousness of the facts and the period in which the offences were committed.
Dieseko cooperated fully in the investigation into all the investigated offences. For this reason, in determining the fines, the NPPS applied a discount. Dieseko paid the Dutch State a total fine of 180,000 euros.

By committing sanctions violations, Dieseko obtained unlawful gains. These gains totalling 1,600,000 euros have been confiscated by the NPPS.

Following the settlement, the NPPS considers this case closed.