“Be Warned,” – CBZ Escapes U.S. Sanctions

CBZ Holdings has been warned by the United States’ Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) over engagement in opaque payment practices.

That was after CBZ had on July 25, 2008, allegedly provided indirect access to the US financial system for ZB Bank and Bank which is on the US’s list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (the SDN List).

The act is said to be in apparent violation of S541.201 of the Zimbabwe Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 541 (ZSR). In a warning letter written to CBZ, OFAC said:

After considering all relevant information in its possession as the General Factor Affecting Administrative Action set forth in the Economic Sanctions Enforcement Guidelines, OFAC has made a determination to issue this cautionary letter in response to these apparent violations.
We urge CBZ to use greater caution to ensure that it does not process transactions in violation of the sanctions programmes administered by OFAC.
This cautionary letter represents a final enforcement response to the above referenced apparent violations.
OFAC added that the letter does not prevent the US from taking future enforcement action should new or additional information warrant renewed attention.
CBZ was in 2017 ordered to pay a US$385 million fine by OFAC for thousands of financial transactions done on behalf of ZB Bank, then under economic sanctions imposed by the US.
There has been debate over whether US sanctions on Zimbabwe have a bearing on the citizenry on not. The US says the sanctions are targeted while some analysts say sanctions are bound to have spillover effects.

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