LONDON - A Dubai distribution company has agreed to pay a $2.8 million civil penalty for shipping embargoed US devices to the Syrian government to monitor and control internet traffic, according to US Department of Commerce documents seen by Reuters.
The US has had a long-standing trade embargo against Syria, which is in the midst of a bloody uprising, and uproar ensued when it first emerged in 2011 that the country was using US technology to monitor its own citizens.
The Department of Commerce settlement documents provide new details on the alleged role of Middle Eastern reseller Computerlinks FZCO in delivering and servicing the equipment.
Computerlinks FZCO sold $1.4 million worth of devices made by Blue Coat Systems Inc, of Sunnyvale, California, to the Syrian government in three separate transactions between about October 2010 and May 2011, the documents state.
The agreement said that the distributor falsely claimed to Blue Coat that the products were being shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan.