THE United States government has fined Barclays Bank Plc, nearly US$2,5 million for processing financial transactions involving Zimbabwean individuals and businesses that appear on its sanctions list.
According to a statement issued by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), this week Barclays Bank Plc—the parent company of Barclays Zimbabwe—agreed to pay US$2 485 890 to settle “its potential civil liability for 159 apparent violations of Section 541,201 of the Zimbabwe Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 541 (ZSR)”.
According to a statement released by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office: “From July 2008 to September 2013, Barclays processed 159 transactions totaling approximately US$3 375 617 to or through financial institutions located in the United States – including Barclays’ New York branch – for or on behalf of corporate customers of Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe Limited that were owned 50 percent or more, directly or indirectly, by a person identified on the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (the ‘SDN List’).
“OFAC has determined that Barclays did not voluntarily self-disclose the apparent violations to OFAC, and that the apparent violations constitute a non-egregious case. The total base penalty amount for the apparent violations was US$5 029 000.’
Since 2001, the US government has maintained what it calls “targeted” sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and close members of his government and party as well as several businesses with close links to the government.
Harare stridently maintains the sanctions are illegal, criminal and a blatant violation of its right as a sovereign nation.
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