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Man suspected of sending drone parts to Russia - German prosecutor

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German-Russian national is under arrest on suspicion of exporting components used by Russia in the production of military hardware, Germany's prosecutor general said on Tuesday, escalating the case from state to federal level.

The defendant, named only as Waldemar W, is accused of violating sanctions imposed in the wake of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, the prosecutor said in a statement.

W has been in pre-trial detention since March 9.

Between January 2020 and March 2023, he allegedly exported electronic components on 26 occasions to a Russian company involved in the production of military hardware including the Orlan-10 reconnaissance drone.

The prosecutor general stepped in "because of the special importance of the case", it said in a statement. Its arrest warrant supercedes another issued by a Mannheim regional court on March 8.

German authorities have been increasingly cracking down on those suspected of circumventing sanctions.

Earlier this month, a businessman was arrested on suspicion of providing machine tools used by the Russian company in the production of sniper rifles.

(Writing by Friederike Heine, Editing by Rachel More, Writing by Thomas Escritt)