January 23, 2021

UAE tobacco firm admits to violating U.S. sanctions on North Korea

U.S. Treasury accuses Essentra FZE of devising "criminal scheme" to fund cigarette tip exports to DPRK

A United Arab Emirates-based tobacco products firm has agreed to pay over $665,000 in fines and institute new compliance measures after admitting to violating U.S. sanctions on North Korea, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday.

In a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Justice Department and a settlement agreement with the U.S. Treasury Department, Essentra FZE, at the time a joint-venture with parent UK firm Essentra PLC, admitted to knowing and illegal use of the U.S. banking system in transactions with DPRK entities.