U.S. cos. pay penalties for trade violations

WASHINGTON JULY 3. A number of prominent U.S. companies and subsidiaries of foreign concerns have paid cash settlements during the last four years for violating sanctions on trade and investment in parts of Afghanistan under Taliban control and in North Korea, Libya, Cuba, Iraq and Iran, among others, according to government documents obtained by a trade publication.

The publication, the Corporate Crime Reporter, received the documents from the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Several large banks and corporations settled cases, the documents showed, including Boeing, General Electric Corp., Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Citigroup and First Union, which was recently acquired by Wachovia Corp.

The office administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions against specified foreign countries, organisations that are considered sponsors of terrorism and international narcotics traffickers.

Under the freedom of information request, the office released details of 115 of its enforcement cases last week for the period from March 1998 to March 2002. Officials said the office intends to release information about 180 additional cases later this year.

— AP

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