For the first time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a Dutch citizen has wound up on a list of sanctions from the United States. Edwin Onno van Ingen, 58, was added to a list established in 2021 by the US which freezes the assets of anyone accused of providing support to the Russian military or the country’s economy. It also punishes those participating in various acts of corruption on Russia’s behalf, like interference in the elections of a US ally, cybercrime, transnational corruption, undermining political stability, or participated in an assassination of an American or American ally.
The US Department of the Treasury said in a press release that Van Ingen “is a primary Europe-based procurement agent for Russian laboratories focused on nuclear weapon design and development as well as research on advanced conventional weapons technologies. Russia’s intelligence services often task Van Ingen to solicit offers and procure technologies such as advanced manufacturing, scientific, and measuring equipment.Van Ingen then approaches manufacturers and resellers and, in many cases, helps mask the real end-user of the equipment being bought and helps organize the equipment’s transshipment to Russia .”
The update was discovered by Dutch publication Follow the Money. Van Ingen told the publication he was very surprised when they informed him of the sanction. “What you say is completely new to me.” A review of records maintained by Open Sanctions showed that Van Ingen is the first Dutch citizen to be added to one of the US sanctions lists. He told Follow the Money that his father did business in Russia for decades. After he died, the younger Van Ingen picked up where he left off, but stopped making deliveries to Russia after the war began.
Van Ingen also does not try to evade restrictions by sending shipments to intermediary countries, like China or Turkey, he stated. He runs several Dutch businesses, including a business material wholesaler, and providing company administration to small businesses. Follow the Money said he also owns mediation firm Ronin Management BV, for which he was sanctioned. The company has an estimated balance sheet reflecting about 10 million euros.
“I have never done anything that the Ministry of Economic Affairs does not know about,” he told the publication. “I was not approached by anyone from the US, nor by The Hague,” he added. “I’m getting negative attention now, this is what the US is making of it, but I haven’t done anything wrong.” His other companies have also been sanctioned, specifically Pro Rata Solutions BV and Delta Technical and Scientific Instruments BV Like Van Ingen, these were sanctioned under Executive Order 14024. The names were among those added to a list maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control strictly because of Van Ingen’s involvement. Neither he nor his companies can do business with an American entity, the Treasury Department said.
“I haven’t been able to think about the consequences yet,” Van Ingen stated.