German businessman under arrest for supplying Orlan-10 drone parts to Russia

Credit: Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

A German-Russian national has been arrested in Germany on suspicion of providing electronic components for Orlan-10 drones to Russia and breaching European sanctions.  

The suspect, Waldemar W., is the head of two businesses established in Saarland, Germany for the export of electronic components.  

According to the German federal prosecutor’s office, a man repeatedly violated the law on foreign trade bypassing the sanctions imposed by the European Union in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. 

“On 26 occasions between January 2020 and March 2023, he exported electronic components to a company in Russia producing military hardware and accessory parts, among them the ‘Orlan-10’ drone currently used by Russian forces in Ukraine,” the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office stated in the arrest warrant. 

The drone parts for the Russian military were supplied using front companies in Dubai and Lithuania. The total value of the components sent by Waldemar W. is approximately €715,000. 

The Orlan-10 has proven to be crucial for Russian military operations. It is routinely used to gather intelligence, disrupt Ukrainian electronic equipment, and identify potential targets for other Russian attacks in Ukraine. 

“Our goal is to deprive the Russian military-industrial complex of the ability to produce weapons. Without foreign components, the enemy will not be able to do this,” Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak stated in a Telegram post when commenting on the arrest.  

While German federal prosecutors did not provide the full name of the suspect, Important Stories, an independent Russian media outlet, claimed that the person involved could be the head of Weicom Systemhaus, Waldemar Weirich. 

According to a post shared by Important Stories shared on its Telegram channel, Weirich is also a “board member of the local association (smallest cell) of the Left Party in Saarbrücken’s Mahlstatt district,” which is often criticized for the pro-Kremlin position. 

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