The high price of doing business with the criminal Cuban dictatorship

Amazing how companies continue trying to circumvent the law and engage in illegal business with the Castro dictatorship’s international crime syndicate in Cuba.

Via Capitol Hill Cubans:

Senate Report Highlights Cuba Transactions

From the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation’s report, “U.S. Vulnerabilities to Money Laundering, Drugs, and Terrorist Financing: HSBC Case History“:

Transactions Involving Cuba

Internal bank documents indicate that, from at least 2002 through 2007, HSBC Bank USA (HBUS) processed potentially prohibited U.S. dollar transactions involving Cuba. HSBC affiliates in Latin America, in particular, had many Cuban clients and sought to execute transactions on their behalf in U.S. dollars, despite the longstanding, comprehensive U.S. sanctions program and the OFAC filter blocking such transactions.


HBMX reported that, pending the systems integration, it had set up “manual controls” in several divisions to implement the new GCL, but “no automated means exists to ensure that these controls are properly being carried out.”

HBMX explained further that its “greatest exposure” was “the volume of business historically carried out by HBMX customers with Cuba in US dollars.”

The entire article available HERE.

And via the Columbian:

Great Western will pay $1.35 million over Cuba trade sanctions

Great Western Malting Co. — the Vancouver-based maker and seller of beer malt — has found out what happens when you breach rules that signify the U.S. government’s decades-long distaste for Cuba.

The company has agreed to pay $1.35 million to settle apparent violations of federal trade sanctions against the island nation 90 miles south of Key West, Fla., according to the agency of the U.S. Treasury Department that enforces those sanctions.

Great Western, a tenant of the Port of Vancouver, could have been fined nearly $6 million. That was the “base penalty amount” for what the Office of Foreign Assets Control says is Great Western’s violation — handling the back-office functions for a foreign affiliate that sold non-U.S. barley malt to Cuba.

The case was settled for $1.35 million because Great Western has no prior sanctions violations, it “substantially cooperated” with investigators, and the malt would have been eligible for a government license if it had been shipped from the United States, the agency said in its July 10 report.

Jay Hamacheck, Vancouver-based director of compliance and corporate social responsibility for GrainCorp — the Sydney, Australia-based parent of Great Western — declined to comment on the matter Tuesday.