Informacion economica sobre Cuba

US to fine Ericsson for shipping to Cuba

Reuters | May 25, 2012, 12.16PM IST

CUBA: World number one mobile network equipment maker Ericsson's

subsidiary in Panama will pay a $1.75 million penalty to the US

Department of Commerce for violating US export restrictions on Cuba, a

settlement agreement obtained by Reuters showed.

The agreement, which was approved but has not yet been made publicly

available, showed that the firm's Panama branch operated a "scheme"

under which it sent broken equipment from Cuba to the US for repair

after masking its origin.

After uncovering the shipments, Ericsson de Panama voluntarily disclosed

the violations to the export control arm of the Commerce Department, the

settlement showed.

Ericsson de Panama "knew that exports from the United States to Cuba

were unlawful because it had been informed by its parent company of the

embargo placed on Cuba by the United States," the agreement said. The

settlement was signed last week and given final approval by a Commerce

Department official on Thursday.

The export scheme was developed by three former Ericsson de Panama

employees, spokesman Frederik Hallstan said, speaking from Ericsson's

corporate headquarters in Sweden.

"This was not standard Ericsson procedure," Hallstan said. "We have

changed our processes."

The three employees were dismissed after the scheme was uncovered by the

company, he said.

The penalty covered 262 violations of federal regulations committed

between 2004 and 2007, concerning about $320,000 worth of equipment, the

settlement agreement said.

Under the scheme, the Panama branch received broken items from customers

in Cuba, removed any recognizable markings and falsified papers before

sending the items to a repair center in the United States. After

repairs, they were shipped back to Cuba via Panama, the agreement said.

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