The Danish State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime (SØIK) is demanding that Dan-Bunkering and Bunker Holding pay fines of DKK 319 million (USD 48.7 million) and DKK 81 million, respectively, and the seizure of DKK 17.7 million in proceeds from 33 transactions involving jet fuel, which ended up in sanctioned Syria.
The demand was put forth by senior prosecutor Anders Dyrvig Rechendorff during the closing arguments of the Dan-Bunkering case, laying out the case for why the defendants should be convicted on the various counts and what sentence they should receive.
"It is telling of the severity of this crime that the jet fuel has been used for refueling Russian bombers in order to assist Assad and assisted in sustaining the Syrian regime," said Dyrvig Rechendorff.
There is a lack of legal precedent in Denmark and internationally for violations of the sanctions against Syria, but SØIK referred to grievous cases involving violations of laundering regulation and rules on competition. In these cases, there were given fines upwards of 50 percent of the transaction sums – or the revenue.
Due to the severity of the case, SØIK speaks in favor of Dan-Bunkering paying a fine of up to DKK 319 million and Bunker Holding up to DKK 81 million.
A combined fine for the Danish bunker group of DKK 400 million. Bunker Holding CEO Keld R. Demant must serve two years in prison for, despite better knowledge, not halting eight transactions involving jet fuel of 40,000 tonnes worth DKK 163 million after the Danish Business Authority had on Dec. 23, 2016, raised a suspicion that subsidiary Dan-Bunkering was involved in selling jet fuel to the Russian military in Syria, which was subject to EU sanctions.
The defendants – Dan-Bunkering, Bunker Holding and the CEO of the latter, Keld R. Demant, who also serves as chairman of Dan-Bunkering – have all pleaded not guilty.
Later today and tomorrow, their defense attorneys will make a case as to why their clients should be acquitted.
"They had to have known that the deliveries ended up in Syria and should have acted differently. They may perhaps be convicted for deliberate action from as early as number one, but in any event for negligence. From the ship-to-ship operations in the fall of 2016 and onward, the prosecution holds that they have acted with intent," said Dyrvig Rechendorff.
English Edit: Christoffer Østergaard & Jonas Sahl Hollænder