From a Company Press Release: In February 2007, “the opening of a new Customer Service Support Centre in the United Arab Emirates for Air Systems solutions. The newly born Support Centre consolidates Thales local presence in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries as well as in Egypt, Iran, Pakistan and Yemen. As a major economic and business centre in the region, Dubai, and more precisely the Jebel Ali Free Zone has been chosen to ‘host' the Support Centre.” (Company Press Release, “Thales opens a new support centre in the Middle East,” 2/17/09)
“Former optic businesses of Thales have consented to pay penalties of USD15 million as part of an agreement with the US Department of State relating to more than 160 alleged breaches of the US Arms Export Control Act and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) dating back as far as 20 years, it emerged on 6 January.
The allegations concern claims that technology, hardware and services primarily relating to night-vision systems were exported or re-exported to countries including China, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Russia and Singapore."
While the majority of the alleged violations apply to the early years of the current decade, one dates back to 1985.
In a statement, the State Department indicated that the probe relates in part to a prior investigation into US defence group ITT Corporation. Thales Singapore (and its predecessor companies) were important suppliers to ITT Night Vision, the State Department said. Jane's reported in March 2007 that ITT had agreed to pay penalties of USD100 million - described by the US Department of Justice at the time as "one of the largest penalties ever paid in a criminal case" - after admitting sending "classified materials overseas".
The latest Department of State investigation covers certain former Thales High Technology Optic Group companies - Thales Electro-Optics Pte Ltd Singapore (Thales Singapore), Thales Optical Coatings Ltd UK and Thales Optem Inc NY - that were acquired by the Luxembourg-based Qioptiq Group in 2005.” (Jane's, "Former Thales companies agree to pay penalties for US export violations," 1/8/09)