British Businessman Extradited to the U.S. to Face Export Violation Charges
After losing an appeal in British courts, Christopher Tappin was extradited from the U.K. and brought to the U.S. on February 24th. Mr. Tappin, a British businessman, faces charges in connection with a scheme to illegally export parts used in Hawk surface-to-air missile systems to Iran. On March 5th, a United States federal grand jury indictment was handed down. Mr. Tappin was charged with one count each for: conspiracy to illegally export defense articles, aiding and abetting the illegal export of defense articles, and conspiracy to conduct illegal financial transactions. If convicted, Mr. Tappin faces up to 20 years in prison.
Mr. Tappin was investigated by The Bureau of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is an agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ICE established a front company for the purpose of detecting potential illegal exports. U.S. authorities allege that an associate of Mr. Tappin dealt with the front company to purchase items which were then exported to Iran via the Netherlands.
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This case illustrates the extent to which the U.S. government will go to convict people (and companies) that commit export violations. It further demonstrates that anyone can be extradited and charged for violations of U.S. export control laws, regardless of their place of residency, and even if there are no equivalent laws in their country of citizenship.
Ensuring compliance with government export rules and regulations is a complex process. Effectively screening against restricted party lists, determining license requirements, and generating the necessary documentation for a shipment is often a challenge for exporters.
Learn how your company can automate (and simplify) these complex processes. Check out Amber Road’s Trade Export brochure.