A Russian war collaborator that the United States blacklisted was paid by the Canadian government for satellite images, according to a report published this week.
“Canada is actively exploring options on next steps,” according to the Blacklock’s Reporter, an Ottawa-based Internet publication.
The Canada Department of Natural Resources hired a Beijing-based aerospace technology company on January 16, Canadian government records show.
On February 24, the Blacklock report said the US Commerce Department blacklisted the satellite company among other collaborators of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
According to documents, despite being blacklisted, a $41,637 payment was made to the company for satellite photos of Canadian forests by March 31.
US authorities have seized the money.
“The government of Canada has a standing offer for commercially available and pre-existing satellite imagery with the Chinese aerospace technology company, which has been added to the US Department of Commerce entity list,” said the report.
[The entity list is a trade restriction list published by the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, consisting of certain foreign persons, entities, or governments. Entities on the list are subject to US license requirements for the export or transfer of specified items].
Documents explained that the Department of Natural Resource’s national forest inventory used the contractor’s images “to support forest policies.”
“Prior to this company being added to the US Department of Commerce entity List, there had been one call-up against the standing offer to this supplier in the amount of $41,637,” said a briefing note.
“The payment has not been received by the supplier as the funds are with the US Office of Foreign Assets.”
No explanation was given in the documents on due diligence when conducting a background check on the company.
Records show the Department of Natural Resources hired the contractor because it had the “lowest price”.