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Amazon fined by US government after Crimeans trick automatic sanction screening to get packages delivered

Amazon fined by US government after Crimeans trick automatic sanction screening to get packages delivered
The US Treasury Department has fined Amazon $134,523 for violating sanctions related to Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula reabsorbed by Russia in 2014.

The multi-billion-dollar e-commerce company, owned by the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, was also deemed to have violated US sanctions related to Iran and Syria.

Russia was sanctioned by the US in 2014 following the return of Crimea, deemed illegal by the Americans. While most Russians consider the peninsula to be a legitimate part of the country, the events of 2014 are considered to be an annexation by most of the world.

According to the Treasury Department, the low fine reflects “that Amazon’s apparent violations were non-egregious and voluntarily self-disclosed.” The transactions took place between 2011 and 2018.

Following the discovery of the broken rules, the Seattle-based internet giant agreed to settle with the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

In an official release posted online, the government revealed that Amazon’s violations occurred due to deficiencies in the website’s automated sanction screening.

“For example, Amazon’s screening processes did not flag orders with address fields containing an address in ‘Yalta, Krimea’ for the term ‘Yalta,’ a city in Crimea, nor for the variation of the spelling of Crimea,” it said.

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