German former executive arrested for exports to Russian arms maker

BERLIN (Reuters) - The former head of a German precision tools manufacturer has been arrested on suspicion of providing banned dual-use goods to the Russian weapons industry, Germany's prosecutor general said on Thursday.

The man, named only as Ulli S, is suspected of signing three contracts with a Russian arms manufacturer in 2015 to deliver six machine tools that were used by the Russian company in the production of sniper rifles, the prosecutor said in a statement.

Ulli S thereby circumvented sanctions imposed in the wake of Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine that prohibit the export of dual-use goods to Russia, the statement added.

The machine tools were delivered with the help of third-party companies via Switzerland, and in one case via Lithuania, it said. The order volume of the sale of the machines was around 2 million euros ($2.17 million).

The company was also involved in training employees of the Russian arms manufacturer to use the tools in 2016, the prosecutor general's statement said.

The German suspect had been detained in France since Aug. 10 on the basis of a European arrest warrant and was transferred to German custody at Frankfurt airport on Aug. 22.

($1 = 0.9211 euros)

(Writing by Friederike Heine; editing by Mark Heinrich)