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US sanctions Finnish citizen over Russian intelligence co-operation

Officials said the man "violated US export laws in the acquisition of sensitive, controlled US maritime technologies".

Yhdysvaltain valtiovarainministeriö.
Exterior of the US Treasury Building in Washington DC. Image: Floriano Rescigno / Alamy / All Over Press

A Finnish citizen has been hit with sanctions by the US over his links with Russian intelligence, along with four companies in which he holds leadership positions.

Federal authorities did not disclose a reason for the sanctions, but The Hill reported the 41-year-old man and his company "violated U.S. export laws in the acquisition of sensitive, controlled U.S. maritime technologies.”

According to the FBI the man's company and its five employees have assisted people to circumvent sanctions and co-operated with the Russian intelligence agency the FSB.

The Hill's story does not provide further details of the offences he is accused of, but the US has implemented sanctions on several individuals and companies linked to the occupation by Russia of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

Yle is not revealing the man's name as he could not be reached for comment and he is not regarded as a significant decision-maker and has not previously been in the media.

The man's name previously emerged in documents during 2016's enormous offshore finance data leak which became known as the Panama Papers. Those documents showed the man had been an owner of a company set up in the British Virgin Islands tax haven in 2013.

Additionally, the man owned shares in two other tax haven-based firms, but it was unclear for which purpose those firms were founded.

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