Amazon violated US sanctions and was fined $135,000!
The US Treasury Department said on Wednesday local time that Amazon was suspected of violating multiple sanction orders and selling goods and services to US sanctioned areas and individuals. It now agrees to pay a fine of US$134,523 to reach a settlement.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of Treasury’s Economic and Trade Sanctions Enforcement Department said that according to Amazon, its automatic screening sanctions process “failed to fully detect all relevant compliant transactions and customer information”.
The Overseas Assets Control Office issued a notice saying that from November 2011 to October 2018, Amazon allowed people in Crimea, Iran, and Syria to buy and sell products and services on the website.
It is reported that Amazon has also provided services to locals in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria, as well as foreign workers in these countries.
In addition, Amazon’s violations include selling goods to individuals who have been sanctioned by the United States for drugs, weapons of mass destruction proliferation, and global terrorism.
However, the Overseas Assets Control Office believes that Amazon took the initiative to expose its violations and took remedial measures, thus reducing the punishment.
It is understood that the sanctioned areas/persons bypass Amazon’s screening system by using common alternative spellings, such as Crimea Writing Coria, or choose to send goods to the consulate of the sanctioned country. Last year, Apple was also accused of conducting business with sanctioned areas/persons for more than two years because the screening tool could not recognize the difference between punctuation and letter case, and finally paid a fine of about 467,000 US dollars.
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