SWISS SHIPPERS SETTLE U.S. CHARGES FOR ATTEMPTED ILLEGAL EXPORTS TO IRAN
Two Swiss shippers, Oerlikon Schweisstechnik AG and Reweld AG, have agreed to pay civil penalties to the U.S. government to settle allegations that they conspired to illegally export industrial materials from the United States to Iran.
The U.S. government maintains a comprehensive embargo on trade with Iran because of that country’s role in international terrorism. Under the terms of the embargo, most exports to Iran are prohibited unless authorized by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of industry and Security, which investigated the case, alleged that between June 1999 and March 2000 the two firms conspired to buy 30,000 pounds of Solka-Flok 200 cellulose valued at $21,000 for resale and transshipment to Iran. The commodity has a number of industrial uses including welding applications.
Oerlikon has agreed to pay a $33,000 civil penalty, while Reweld will pay a $22,000 civil penalty. In addition, a one-year denial of export privileges was imposed on Oerlikon of which six months was suspended provided that the company does not commit any export control violations during the suspension period, the Commerce Department said.