Qioptiq enters into consent agreement with US Department of State
JANUARY 6, 2009--The Qioptiq Group recently announced that it had entered into a consent agreement with the Department of State to resolve alleged civil violations of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations including unauthorized exports of ITAR controlled technical data and defense articles related to night vision technology.
JANUARY 6, 2009--The Qioptiq Group (Luxembourg; www.qioptiq.com) recently announced that it had entered into a consent agreement with the Department of State to resolve alleged civil violations of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) including unauthorized exports of ITAR controlled technical data and defense articles related to night vision technology.
The agreement includes an aggregate civil penalty of $25 million. Of this amount $5 million is a credit for remedial compliance measures self-initiated by Qioptiq prior to the agreement. Qioptiq will pay $15 million within 30 days of the date of the corresponding Order. The remaining $5 million will be suspended on the condition that it is applied to further enhance the compliance program over a three-year period. The agreement also provides for the appointment of an Internal Special Compliance Officer, who will continue to develop and implement Qioptiq's export compliance program. In its Proposed Charging Letter the Department identified as "significant mitigating factors" Qioptiq's full cooperation, voluntary disclosures, and comprehensive, self-initiated remedial measures.
The Department also noted as a significant mitigating factor the fact that the alleged violations arose during the period before December 2005 when the companies now belonging to Qioptiq were part of another group (the "Seller"). Immediately subsequent to its creation, Qioptiq commenced a comprehensive review of its export activities and the implementation of an extensive compliance program. This program will continue to be strengthened in line with the terms of the agreement with the Department. As part of the divestiture agreements, the Seller retained full responsibility for the consequences of all pre-acquisition export matters.
"From Qioptiq's inception we have pursued a comprehensive export compliance program, voluntarily disclosed all issues revealed during our internal reviews, and cooperated fully with the US authorities," said Benoit Bazire, CEO of Qioptiq. "With this settlement we have reached closure regarding the serious compliance issues that existed before the creation of Qioptiq. We will continue to work to ensure that our compliance systems remain robust and develop with our business. This is a task I and the employees of Qioptiq are committed to accomplishing."