OFAC Posts Civil Penalty Enforcement Information

On June 14, 2012, Office of Foreign Assets Controls (OFAC) posted recent civil penalty enforcement information on their website:

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has agreed to remit $855,000 to settle potential civil liability for 45 transactions that appear to have violated the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations (SSR). The apparent violations occurred from November 2004 to December 2005.

In response to inquiries made by OFAC related to certain transactions, NBAD provided information to OFAC revealing that certain of its clerical staff removed or omitted Sudan-related references in payment instructions processed on behalf of its Sudan branch for payments routed through financial institutions located in the United States in apparent violation of the prohibition against the exportation of services from the U.S. to Sudan. The combined value of the 45 electronic funds transfers was close to $4.4 million. 

NBAD did not voluntarily self-disclose the apparent violations; however, the company extended substantial cooperation throughout OFAC's review of these matters. OFAC determined that the apparent violations constituted a non-egregious case. The base penalty amount for the apparent violations was therefore $4,276,000. In calculating the penalty amount, OFAC considered that NBAD took prompt and appropriate remedial action; NBAD provided substantial cooperation; and NBAD has not received a penalty notice or finding of violation in the five years preceding the transactions at issue.