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Essentra agrees fine over alleged North Korea breaches

21 Jul 2020. A Middle Eastern subsidiary of UK cigarette filter maker Essentra has agreed to pay a fine of more than half a million pounds to US authorities to settle criminal allegations that it breached sanctions on North Korea, Financial Times reported.

Essentra FZE, the United Arab Emirates-based entity, has been fined more than USD 665,000 and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice. The company will not face a criminal conviction as a result of paying the fine but will submit to three years of co-operation with law enforcement and agree to overhaul its internal compliance functions, the report said.

Essentra also signed a settlement agreement with the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to resolve potential civil offences. In a statement Ofac said the company had “exported cigarette filters to the DPRK through a network of front companies in China and other countries using deceptive practices”.