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Three Belgian companies summoned to court for chemicals exports to Syria

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Three Belgian companies summoned to court for chemicals exports to Syria

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Reuters
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Three Belgian companies are being brought to court by the Belgian Customs for exporting chemicals to Syria — including one that could be used in the production of sarin nerve gas.

Isopropanol also known as rubbing alcohol is found in disinfectants and paint varnishes but can also be used to make sarin, which Western countries say was used by the Syrian government in a chemical attack against Syrian people in April 2017.

Antwerp Criminal Court set a trial date for May 15 for three companies — Belgian chemical group AAE Chemie and two handling agents, Danmar Logistics and Anex Customs — Roland Cassiers, a spokesman for the court, told Euronews.

“After investigating the matter, Belgium’s federal customs administration believes that the export of various chemical substances had been carried out without a proper export license for these products,” said Cassiers.

The case will focus on the export without an alleged proper license of various chemical substances between 2014 and 2016 to Lebanon and Syria. The EU imposed export licenses for chemicals in 2013.

“Both my companies and AAE Chemie have always acted in good faith. We have always fully complied with the checks of customs officers at the port of Antwerp,” a spokesman for Danmar Logistics told Reuters.

Euronews has reached out to the three accused companies for comment.