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More and more enforcement actions (2/2)

Do you also see currently more and more enforcement actions from export control authorities and prosecutors ? Some have been in the news recently. Have a look on the selection hereafter.

Do you know any other recent cases in your country or abroad? Post them on RespectUs Forum.

US - Illegal exports to Russian Military and Space Program

A Bulgarian national, 49, of Sofia, Bulgaria, inquired with a U.S. manufacturer about purchasing radiation hardened integrated circuits that are commonly used in satellites. Because those circuits are controlled American technologies, they require a license from the U.S. Department of Commerce to export them to certain countries including Russia. The defendant told the U.S. manufacturer that the circuits were sought by the Bulgarian Academy of Science, but the manufacturer was suspicious and referred the matter to the authorities.

Acting in an undercover capacity, agents learned that the defendant intended to transship the exports from Bulgaria through Finland to an end user in Russia. Specifically, after shipping the technology to Finland, the defendant planned to reexport them to Russia in a suitcase to avoid documentation of their ultimate destination. The defendant later confirmed that the end users of the controlled American technology were the Russian military and space program.

Two transactions were operated undercover, one for clock driver and random-access memory programmable multi-chip modules worth USD 234.938, the second one for a multiple analogue-to-digital converter worth USD 122.323. The technologies were designed for aerospace applications.

The defendant was arrested in Germany in January 2020 and then extradited to Colorado.

He was sentenced today to 24 months in prison.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice Press Release (21 May 2021)

US - Power turbine for a Russian Arctic deepwater drilling platform

The Italian company US GVA International Oil and Gas Services (GVA) pleased guilty for conspiracy to export a USD 17.3 million power turbine to be used on a Russian Arctic deepwater drilling platform.

The conspiracy began when a Russian government-controlled business contracted with a St. Petersburg-based energy company to purchase the power turbine from a U.S.-based manufacturer. They then contacted GVA to obtain the turbine on their behalf. Both parties then employed the services of a third party to procure the turbine from a U.S.-based manufacturer and to have the turbine shipped overseas. The parties conspired to conceal the true end user of the turbine from both the U.S. manufacturer and the U.S. government by submitting false documentation that stated it would be used by a U.S. company in and around Atlanta.

Most parties were arrested in the U.S. while attempting to complete the illegal transaction.

Pleading guilty to violating the U.S. Export Control Act now subjects GVA to a sentence of up to 5 years’ probation, along with significant fines and financial restitution. The GVA owner Gabrielle Villone is currently already serving a 28-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy in another case.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice Press Release (26 May 2021)

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