The Commerce Department has imposed a $10,000 civil penalty, and a five year denial of export privileges, on Eli Cohen of Haifa, Israel, pursuant to a settlement agreement. The Department's Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) had alleged that Cohen had concealed an illegal transfer of an infrared camera from BXA agents. According to BXA's charging letter, Eli Cohen provided false and misleading information to Special Agents of BXA's Office of Export Enforcement concerning the camera's location when the agents sought to verify its end-use in Israel. The camera is capable of locating objects in day, night or adverse weather conditions, because of its ability to detect radiating heat. The camera was shipped to Israel under a BXA export license that authorized its use only by the company named on the license, but was then illegally transferred. BXA controls the export of this type of camera for national security reasons because of its potential application in military surveillance.
Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement Michael J. Garcia stated, "This case demonstrates that those who would provide false or misleading information to this bureau's enforcement agents, especially concerning national security matters, will pay a price."
The Commerce Department's Bureau of Export Administration, Office of Export Enforcement, enforces export controls for reasons of national security, foreign policy, nonproliferation and regional stability. Criminal penalties and administrative sanctions can be imposed for violations of the Export Administration Regulations.
Assistant Secretary Garcia commended Special Agent William Higgins, from BXA's Boston Field Office, who investigated the case.