OFAC issues “finding of violation” to UAE bank regarding Sudan sanctions regulations

OFAC determined the appropriate administrative action was a finding of violation in lieu of a civil monetary penalty.

Sudan sanctions regulations

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today issued a “finding of violation” to a commercial bank headquartered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for violations of now-repealed Sudan sanctions regulations.

Today’s OFAC release [PDF 205 KB] explains that the finding of violation is part of a global settlement between the UAE bank, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors (FRB).

OFAC determined the appropriate administrative action was a finding of violation in lieu of a civil monetary penalty, in part because the UAE bank voluntarily entered into a retroactive statute of limitations waiver agreement, without which OFAC would have been time-barred from charging the violations.

Summary

  • Between January 2005 and February 2009, a London branch of the UAE bank processed approximately 1,700 outgoing payments through financial institutions in the United States in violation of the Sudanese sanctions regulations. Specifically, the London branch processed payments through U.S. financial institutions that related to U.S. dollar transfers from accounts of Sudanese banks held outside the United States.
  • Because payment messages sent to the U.S. financial institutions did not include the originating Sudanese bank, the UAE bank’s U.S. correspondents could not interdict the payments, and the payments were successfully processed through the U.S. financial system.
  • The UAE bank’s processing of these payments for or on behalf of Sudanese financial institutions constituted a prohibited export of services from the United States to Sudan.



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