On September 3, 1998, the Commerce Department imposed a $65,000 civil penalty on Syntex S.A. de C.V., a Mexican chemical company, to settle allegations that it caused, aided, or abetted the export of U.S.-origin hydrogen fluoride from the United States to Mexico without the required Commerce Department licenses. Syntex will pay $32,500 of the penalty; payment of the remaining fine will be suspended for one year, then waived, provided Syntex committs no violations of the Export Administration Regulations during the one-year probation period
In two related cases involving freight forwarders for Syntex, the Commerce Department also imposed civil penalties. A $50,000 civil penalty and a two-year denial of export privileges was imposed on Mario Palmeros of Palmeros Forwarding, and a $2,500 civil penalty and a two-year denial of export privileges was imposed on Villasana and Company, Inc. All of the penalties against the forwarders, both of Laredo, Texas, were suspended for two years; they will be waived if the forwarders do not violate the Export Administration Regulations during the two-year probation period. The freight forwarders agreed to the sanctions in order to settle allegations that they prepared and used export control documents representing that the chemicals needed no Commerce licenses when, in fact, licenses were required.