By The Financial District
BAT Admits Breaching NoKor Sanctions, Pays $629-M Fine To U.S.
A British tobacco company has agreed to pay more than $629 million to settle allegations that it did illegal business with North Korea in violation of US sanctions, the Justice Department said, Eric Tucker reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Photo Insert: BAT used third parties to do business with North Korea and payments were routed through Singapore entities to breach financial sanctions.
British American Tobacco (BAT), one of the largest tobacco companies in the world, entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department, while the company’s Singapore subsidiary pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bank fraud and violate sanctions, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also disclosed.
The London-based BAT said in its own statement that the settlement concerns sales from 2007 through 2017 and that the company has since taken steps to improve its business practices.
BAT used third parties to do business with North Korea and payments were routed through Singapore entities to breach financial sanctions.
North Korea faces stringent US and international sanctions going back nearly two decades for its nuclear weapons program and development of intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Pyongyang has continued to research and test more nuclear weapons. It has also worked to evade sanctions with the cooperation of allies like China and illicit trade with barred countries and companies.
Smuggled tobacco products are regarded as a major source of revenue for North Korea’s nuclear and weapons of mass destruction programs, the Justice Department said. The penalty is the largest arising from North Korea sanctions violations in the Justice Department’s history, said Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen.
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