If the Compliance Software Can't Catch a Sanctioned Client, That Means a Fine
International Trade Partner Ronald Oleynik was quoted by Yahoo! Finance after Cobham Holdings Inc. was fined by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Controls (OFAC) for three shipments of electronics that were shipped to a Russian entity, Almaz Antey Telecommunications LLC (AAT), that the OFAC blocked under the Ukraine-/Russia-related sanctions program.
The shipments were not caught by the organization's compliance screening service as the software was looking for "Almaz Antey Telecom" instead of "Almaz Antey" which owns 51 percent of AAT. Mr. Oleynik spoke with Yahoo! Finance on how if companies want to avoid such compliance issues then they should not rely on only one compliance system.
"OFAC’s lists are filled with all sorts of misspellings. They may be transliterations from Arabic characters or Russian Cyrillic alphabet. If you’re doing an exact match, it’s got to be perfect. Every comma, inc. and period," Mr. Oleynik said. "But you can boil it down to the least common denominator: the unique name of the company. If it’s Starfish Company Limited, search only for ‘Starfish,’ and see what comes up."