Lucky Strike cigarette manufacturer British American Tobacco is under a felony investigation by U.S. regulators over suspected sanctions-busting.
The company is being investigated for suspicions of a violation of sanctions by the Department of Justice and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), a financial intelligence and enforcement company under the U.S. Treasury division, the report stated, adding it was not clear which nations the regulators were focusing on.
The company and the DoJ didn’t immediately reply to requests for remark. The OFAC couldn’t immediately be reached.
BAT shares tumbled 4% to 2,899.5 pence in early trading, erasing all of the gains made last week. It was among the top percentage losers on the FTSE Tuesday.
In its annual report released in March, the second-largest tobacco firm in the world disclosed it was “conscious” of the investigation and was liaising with the DOJ and OFAC in the U.S. The Dunhill producer had stated it couldn’t assess the potential financial impacts of the probe; however, it stated they could be material.
The U.S. probe follows an investigation by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into BAT on “suspicions of corruption in the conduct of enterprise by group companies and associated persons” – an inquiry that’s nonetheless on.