Company faces prosecution for illegally exporting animal poison
Last week news was released on a German company who has been caught illegally exporting large quantities of the poison “Beuthanasia-D” to the United States and Asia. The poison which is also used for the execution of prisoners on death row has been in short supply in the U.S. for several years; companies have refused to export the chemical to the U.S. in order to avoid supporting its use for executions.
German customs officials intercepted one shipment of the drug headed to the U.S. and proceeded to search the storage facilities of the company. Investigators found that the company had exported the pharmaceutical products in seven instances in 2017 and 2018 without approval by the U.S. Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control. The drug is subject to strict exportation restrictions and falls under the EU Torture Directive.
Manipulation of documents enabled evasion of customs controls
Employees had reportedly evaded control procedures and falsified documents for transport to avoid suspicion by customs. Cases such as this highlight the need for technology to help provide a shared source of the truth when interested parties have conflicting goals.
When companies whose goods are subject to strict exportation control are keeping track of their own data on exports, they can easily manipulate data for the case that they are controlled by customs. To avoid this, customs offices could require companies exporting such goods to store their data in a ledger that, upon suspicion, could be easily checked for peculiarities.
How Blockchain could change export control
Blockchain could help with controlling import and export regulations. If this export data had been stored on a Blockchain, the employees would not have been able to manipulate the documents to avoid suspicion. In a distributed database, no party can change or delete content in the database, they are only able to add to it.
If regulating authorities required manufacturers of sensitive exports to record data on a Blockchain to which they also had access, these types of crimes could be avoided and regulations better enforced. Blockchain for import and export regulations is already being explored as a potential implementation. Read more about Blockchain here.