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‘Barendrecht firm a part of community to get drones in Russia’

Drones from DJI in Kyiv, throughout check flights by the Ukrainian military and the Ministry of Digital Transformation

NOS Information•

Russian veterans’ golf equipment and pro-war organizations are importing drones to assist pro-Russian intelligence companies in Ukraine. A few of these drones got here in through an organization in Kazakhstan that collaborated with an organization from Barendrecht. This has emerged from an investigation by journalists from the German Der Spiegel, the Russian IStories and the worldwide OCCRP.

The corporate from Barendrecht is named DJI Europe BV, a subsidiary of the Chinese language drone producer DJI. Kazakh authorities paperwork would present that the Kazakh firm Aspan Arba has a license to import 18,000 drones from the Dutch firm for USD 45 million.

In concept, all these DJI drones can be utilized in Kazakhstan. In that case the import is authorized. However reselling the drones to Russia just isn’t allowed. And that’s precisely what Aspan Arba does, in line with the investigative journalists.

Russian customs info obtained by the journalists reveals that the corporate bought 500 drones to the Russian Nebesnaya Mekhanika final 12 months. Plainly the Kazakh firm was even created particularly for transit. Aspan Arba was based in April 2022, two months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The proprietor of the corporate, Ilya Golberg, additionally owns Nebesnaya Mekhanika, to which it bought the drones.

And this Golberg’s Russian firm went on to promote drones to numerous Russian veterans’ golf equipment and pro-war organizations. One among them – “Fashionable Entrance: All the pieces for Victory” – raises cash to purchase drones for the intelligence companies of the Russian separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk.


Such a transit commerce is intently monitored by the Dutch Public Prosecution Service. There at the moment are 62 investigations into violations of sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus since final 12 months. It’s not recognized whether or not the drone commerce of DJI Europe BV from Barendrecht can also be being investigated. The Public Prosecution Service doesn’t present details about ongoing investigations.

DJI Europe BV itself was not out there for touch upon questions from the NOS. A spokesperson advised OCCRP that the “cooperation” with Aspan Arba started in Might 2022 and has not been renewed in 2023. Nevertheless, DJI says that the Chinese language firm voluntarily shut down all shipments and actions in Russia and Ukraine in April 2022. “Our protocols make certain we do not violate the sanctions.”

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