When a financial institution helps an international crime organization funnel its blood money through its organization, it is a violation of law. When a bank helps a drug cartel launder hundreds of millions of dollars, it is a violation of law. Therefore, when ING decided to knowingly help the criminal dictatorship in Cuba, along with other state sponsors of terror, to traffic billions of their illicit dollars through its accounts, they ended up with the largest fine levied against a financial institution in history.
Dutch bank hit with record fine for passing money through U.S. financial entities on behalf of Cuban and Iranian clients
ING Bank secretly passed more than $2 billion through U.S. financial entities on behalf of Cuban and Iranian clients.
In the largest fine ever assessed against a financial institution for violating U.S. sanctions on Cuba and Iran, Netherlands-based ING Bank will pay $619 million to the U.S. government, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
ING agreed to pay the fine for secretly moving more than $2 billion through U.S. financial institutions in 20,000 transactions from the early 1990s to 2007, all in violation of sanctions on Cuba and Iran, according to the Justice Department.
“ING Bank helped provide state sponsors of terror and other sanctioned entities with access to the U.S. financial system, allowing them to move billions of dollars,” Assistant U.S. Attorney General for National Security Lisa Monaco declared.
Cuba, Iran, Syria and Sudan are on the U.S. list of countries under sanctions for supporting international terrorism. The half-century old U.S. trade embargo against Cuba also bars Cuban entities from using U.S. dollars in their transactions.
The Justice Department statement said ING fabricated endorsement stamps so that two Cuban banks could fraudulently process dollar-denominated travelers checks and advised Cuban and Iranian clients on how to conceal transactions.
Senior ING officials also erased data from reports that would have revealed the involvement of Cuban and Iranian entities, and threatened to punish some employees who failed to remove those references from documents, the statement added.
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