Chief of Dutch military intelligence warns Dutch companies and institutes to be aware of foreign nations’ attempts to acquire knowledge and materials used to develop WMDs

UPDATE 2017-10-25: answers (.pdf, in Dutch; mirror) to parliamentary questions on this matter.

NOS reports (in Dutch) on an interview by ANP where the chief of the Dutch Military Intelligence & Security Service (MIVD) warns companies and (knowledge) institutes to be aware of attempts by foreign nations including North Korea, Iran, Pakistan and Syria to acquire materials and knowledge in the Netherlands. Here is my translation of the NOS report:

The Dutch intelligence & security services annually thwarts “a substantial number of attempts” by foreign countries to acquire knowledge and materials for WMDs. That is what Onno Eichelsheim, chief of the Military Intelligence & Security Service (MIVD), states in an interview with the ANP.

Eichelsheim won’t say how frequently it happens. The reason for that is that he does not want to reveal the capabilities of the department that exclusively deals with that. The MIVD chief only notes that the Unit Counterproliferation employs dozens of personnel, and informs the ministry of defense dozens of times annually, for instance with regard to export licenses.

Eichelsheim states that companies and knowledge institutes are little aware that countries such as North Korea, Iran, Pakistan and Syria attempt to acquire knowledge in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is a technologically high-developed country, which those countries are eager to use.

Smaller companies who make products such as ball bearings or heat-resistant materials must also be alert, Eichelsheim says.

Countries that are seeking high-grade materials always use covers, such as a company or a middle person. Eichelsheim says it is certainly suspicious if a customer is willing to pay a high price for materials or chemicals that can be purchased elsewhere for a fraction of the price. Companies and institutes must be aware that their products can be used in the development of WMDs.