EEUU impone multa a empresa holandesa por violar el bloqueo a Cuba

Otra multa del bloqueo para estrangular el turismo a Cuba

El Departamento del Tesoro de Estados Unidos sancionó con una multa de 5,9 millones de dólares a una agencia de viajes con sede en Holanda, al transportar casi 45,000 personas a Cuba en los últimos años, lo que para esa entidad norteamericana constituye una violación al bloqueo económico a la isla.

De acuerdo al documento del Tesoro, la compañía CWT B.V, filial de la holandesa Carlson Wagonlit Travel, recibió en 2006 capital de origen estadounidense, con lo cual pasó a estar sujeta a las leyes del embargo económico y, sin embargo, siguió manteniendo “negociaciones en las que Cuba o sus nacionales tenían un interés”.

Las empresa One Equity Partners II y Chase Travel Investment fueron mencionadas en algunos reportes de negocios como propietarias de CWT en 2010.

Las violaciones que merecieron la sanción se cometieron entre el 8 de agosto de 2006 hasta el 28 de noviembre de 2012, años en los que la empresa habría transportado hacia o desde Cuba a 44.430 personas, según un informe emitido por el Tesoro el pasado viernes.

“CWT fracasó en ejercer un grado mínimo de precaución o cuidado en relación con sus obligaciones de cumplimiento de las sanciones OFAC hacia Cuba”, señala el documento.

De acuerdo al medio, la Oficina de Control de Bienes Extranjeros (OFAC) del Tesoro había determinado inicialmente una multa de 11.093.500 millones de dólares contra la compañía, la cual luego fue reducida dado que CWT “reportó voluntariamente las supuestas violaciones, las detuvo, cooperó con los investigadores de EEUU”.

 

http://www.cubadebate.cu/noticias/2014/04/21/otra-multa-del-bloqueo-para-estrangular-el-turismo-a-cuba/#.U1UD4vl5Pvy

 

Company fined $5.9 million for travel to Cuba

A major Netherlands company that handled the travel of 44,430 people to and from Cuba will pay $5.9 million to the U.S. government to settle a complaint that it violated the trade embargo on the island, the U.S. Treasury Department has announced.

Treasury’s announcement said CWT B.V. had continued to do business in Cuba after it became majority-owned by U.S. entities in 2006, and therefore was subject to the U.S. Trading With the Enemy Act.

The fine appeared to be one of the largest assessed on a travel agency for Cuba embargo violations, although several foreign banks have had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to settle alleged violations.

CWT B.V. was part of the Netherlands-based Carlson Wagonlit Travel, a global leader in travel. CWT specializes in business travel, operates in more than 150 countries and reported $21.4 billion in total sales volume in 2009, according to its website.

Treasury did not identify CWT’s U.S. buyers in 2006. One Equity Partners II, L.P., a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase, and JPMorgan’s Chase Travel Investment, were listed in business reports as holding some ownership interests in CWT in 2010.

U.S.-owned companies doing business in Cuba or with Cuban entities are required to have special licenses issued by Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which enforces U.S. sanctions on all foreign countries.

CWT’s possible violations took place from Aug. 8, 2006 to on or about Nov. 28, 2012, “dealt in property in which Cuba or its nationals had an interest” and involved trips by 44,430 people, Treasury said in a statement Friday.

OFAC said the base penalty for the case was $11,093,500, but that was cut to $5.9 million because CWT voluntarily reported the apparent violations, halted them, cooperated with U.S. investigators and took “significant remedial action.”

CWT is a “commercially sophisticated international corporation and travel services,” the Treasury statement noted, “but failed to exercise a minimal degree of caution or care regarding its obligations to comply with OFAC sanctions against Cuba.”

The large number of Cuba travelers it handled “caused significant harm to the objectives” of the U.S. sanctions on the communist-ruled island under the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR).

JPMorgan Chase Bank agreed to pay $88.3 million in 2011 to settle allegations of “egregious” CACR violations by processing 1,711 wire transfers totaling $178.5 million from Dec. 12 of 2005, and March 31 of 2006 involving Cuba or Cuban nationals.

JPMC investigated a tip from another institution that it could be violating the regulations, confirmed it and yet “failed to take adequate steps to prevent further transfers” and did not voluntarily report the apparent violations, Treasury said at the time.

ING bank in the Netherlands paid $619 million in 2011 to settle allegations of illegal dealing with Cuba, Iran, and other sanctioned countries. Credit Suisse Bank paid $536 million in 2009 and the Swiss-based UBS paid $100 million in 2004 for similar cases.