On 8th January, the National Law Review in the US carried an article about the case involving Cobham Holdings Inc, which it describes as “a cautionary tale”. It appears Cobham had thought, as many do, that if your foreign customer is not found on the sanctions list, your company is free to sell products to that customer. It had therefore sold silicon switches to Almaz Antey Telecommunications LLC in Russia between 2014 and 2015 when that entity was not named on the OFAC list , and had used software to search for OFAC sanctions, and the customer came up clean. The article says that Cobham used the software to search for “Almaz Antey Telecom” but not “Almaz Antey.” If it would have searched for the latter, there were numerous hits for entities under the Almaz Antey umbrella. Cobham was able to reduce the potential fine by agreeing to utilise new and improved screening software, along with a business intelligence tool and new internal checks for high risk transactions.
The Ukrinform website on 8th January carried a report saying that the Ukraine Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons had issued a statement saying that a cargo vessel that sank in the Black Sea off the coast of Turkey could have been transporting “stolen” coal from the occupied regions of Donbas. It is said that the Volgo-Balt 214 (which flew the Panama flag), which sank on 7th January was transporting coal from the port of Azov in Russia to the port of Samsun in Turkey. This Russian port in the Rostov region is often used for the illegal export of coal from part of the occupied Donbas to the ports of Turkey and other countries, it is said.
On 9th January, Frontier Myanmar reported on a display to mark the 71st anniversary of the air force. Among the aircraft on display were 2 ATR 72-500 transports, produced under a joint venture by France’s Airbus and Italy’s Leonardo, and an AS 365 helicopter produced by Airbus Helicopters. It says that although the aircraft types are both civilian in nature, the sale of these aircraft by a European company may constitute a breach of sanctions. However, it says that most likely the aircraft are not new and were bought from within the region, as third parties outside the EU are unlikely to be covered by the restrictions unless there are broader UN sanctions in place. The other 4 aircraft commissioned at the event were described as JF-17 fighter jets that were bought under a contract with Pakistan – the JF-17 was jointly developed by the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) and the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation (CAC) of China.