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May 21, 2015updated 30 Aug 2016 12:29pm

Cisco denies allegations it dodged Russia sanctions

Report suggests that they altered sales records.

By Alexander Sword

Cisco has been accused of altering sales records in Russia to escape Western economic sanctions.

Cisco employees allegedly altered sales records and booked deals under a false company name. A source claimed that these actions were intended to avoid sanctions by disguising the true customer.

The sanctions in question were imposed by the USA and EU in the wake of the 2014 Ukraine crisis. The sanctions forbid Western companies from selling "dual-use" equipment to Russian military companies. This means civilian equipment that could be used for military purposes, with Cisco being forced to cancel $1.7 million of deals in October.

One case allegedly saw sales logged as going to the Chamber of Commerce, while the real buyer was the FSB, the Russian security agency. Cisco is said to have cancelled the original deal with the FSB and then replaced it with two similar deals with the Chamber of Commerce, which claimed it had not purchased the equipment for itself or on behalf of another agency.

Another case reportedly saw employees changing the customer from the Ministry of Defense or Russian space agency to another body.

While Cisco accepts the authenticity of the internal documents and accepts the errors, officials strongly denied any deliberate attempts to obscure their transactions. They cite an issue with sales-tracking software and claim that no sales were made to banned agencies, while stating that changes were made to make records more precise.

A Cisco spokesperson commented: "We have a sterling 30 year record of compliance with export and sanctions rules around the world, and are in complete compliance with the US and EU sanctions on Russia."

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