3M agrees to pay $10 million to settle Iran sanctions violations
Last week, the US Office of Foreign Assets Control announced that 3M had agreed to pay almost $10 million in settlement of apparent Iranian sanctions violations.
3M had 54 apparent violations of OFAC sanctions against Iran, according to the agency. 3M Switzerland allegedly sold reflective license plate sheeting to Bonyad Taavon Naja, an entity controlled by Iranian law enforcement, between 2016 and 2018.
Post-It notes, Scotch Tape, N95 masks, and other industrial products are manufactured by 3M, which has made a number of high-profile and high-dollar settlements this year.
A request for comment regarding last week’s settlement announcement has not been responded to by 3M.
An employee of 3M Gulf, a subsidiary in Dubai, was “closely involved” in the sale, OFAC reported.
An outside due diligence report flagged connections to Iran’s Law Enforcement Forces after the alleged sales.
Both Iran and Syria have been accused of human rights violations by Iranian law enforcement.
OFAC reports that 3M East, a Swiss subsidiary, shipped 43 shipments to the German reseller despite knowing the products would be resold to the Iranian entity.
“These employees knew that these sales would violate U.S. sanctions, but ignored ample evidence that would have alerted them to this,” OFAC wrote.
After discovering the sale wasn’t authorized, 3M voluntarily self-disclosed the apparent violations, according to OFAC. As a result, it fired or reprimanded “culpable” employees, revamped sanctions trainings, and stopped doing business with the German reseller.
As part of its commitment to funding public water suppliers in the United States that have detected toxic “forever chemicals” in their water, 3M has agreed to pay up to $10.3 billion over 13 years.