Sanctions world first ~ US imposes sanctions against North Koreans for private sector and over cyberhack incident

Economic sanctions ordered Today, the US announced it is imposing economic sanctions against certain individuals  and entities in North Korea over the Sony cyberhack. The so-called Sony sanctions appears to represent the first time in history that sanctions have been imposed (a) solely in response for, or over a, private sector dispute / issue; and […]

Another Australian Bank De-Risks and Exits Remittance Business Over Terrorist Financing Regulatory Risks; Financial Inclusion and Shadow Banking Seen As Repercussion

Fourth banks closes remittances businesses Another bank in Australia, the Westpac Bank, has announced it will close its remittance business division next week over the difficulty of complying with counter-terrorism laws. By de-risking and closing its remittance division, the Bank is terminating the bank accounts of all of its business customers who operate money services […]

PwC settles with New York bank regulator over anti-money laundering and sanctions advice

The New York Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS“) has announced that it has entered into a settlement with the advisory firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers Regulatory Advisory Services (“PwC“) over anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance advice it provided to the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi (“Bank of Tokyo“). PwC is suspended for two years from accepting consulting work […]

News report says that $125 million paid to listed terrorist groups for ransom payments

According to this article in the New York Times, governments of the European Union have paid at least $125 million to terrorist organizations, mostly Al Qaeda, since 2008 and $66 million of that was paid last year. The US Treasury Department estimates the figure is closer to $165 million and believes that ransom payments are […]

UN Security Council calls on ban of oil trades from listed terrorist groups

Listed terrorist group takes over energy infrastructure The Security Council of the United Nations today called on its members not to engage in financial or commercial transactions with listed terrorist groups, in particular involving the sale of oil from Syria or Iraq that would involve the financing of terrorism. Anti-terrorism and sanctions laws In Canada, […]

Billionaire banker executed in $2.6B money laundering case and two co-defendants in Canada

Billionaire money launderer executed According to the Washington Post, billionaire banker Mahafarid Amir Khosravi was executed today in Tehran for bank fraud and money laundering. He is alleged to have forged letters of credit with the assistance of bank managers from the Melli Bank to start a private bank called Aria Bank. Iranian courts found that US$2.6 […]

Canada makes its first corporate prosecution for economic sanctions violations

Although Canadian economic sanctions have been in place for years, until now Canada has never prosecuted any company for sanctions violations. That changed earlier this month when Lee Specialities Ltd., a Calgary based company, was charged with violating Canadian (and UN) economic sanctions by exporting goods to Iran that could be used for nuclear devices. The […]

Foreign firm hit with $1.5 million fine for sanctions violations & failing to have compliance regime

The Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC“) has assessed a penalty of $1.5 million against Alma Investment LLC, a foreign investment firm and fund, for violating U.S. sanctions by sending electronic wires totaling $103,283 through U.S. financial institutions for the benefit of persons in Iran. The electronic wires are a prohibited export to Iran under […]

American Express settles over Cuban sanctions issues

$5.2 million settlement American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. (“Amex“) has entered into a settlement agreement to pay US$5.2 million to settle potential civil liability for apparent violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. §§515.201(b)(2) (“CACR“). The CACR broadly prohibit trade and investment with Cuba by any person subject to the jurisdiction of the […]