| | | Effective PR

OFAC tells AMEX it's been a bit naughty but not to worry too much.

Editorial Staff

According to a statement issued by the USA's Office of Foreign Assets Control (it's primary financial and economic sanctions department which also investigates and takes action in respect of breaches) says this "Between approximately March 26, 2015 and May 19, 2015, American Express Travel Related Services Company (“Amex”) issued a prepaid card to, and processed 41 transactions totalling $35,246.82 on behalf of, Gerhard Wisser,a Specially Designated National (SDN)."

OFAC has determined that a "finding of violation" is a sufficient penalty because:

"(1)There was no wilful or reckless behaviour;
(2)OFAC has no information to indicate that Amex knew it maintained a card for an SDN, or that its system could be overridden; (3)Amex remediated, making it less likely similar violations will recur;
(4)Amex cooperated with OFAC’s investigation, including by voluntarily disclosing the violations to OFAC; and
(5) Amex has not received a penalty notice or Finding of Violation from OFAC in the five years preceding the earliest date of the transactions giving rise to the violations"

So, from the "hold on a minute" department, here are a few things to consider.

1. The review and approval was performed by a member of AMEX' own staff.

2. How did it not know that a card had been issued? Does this indicate that AMEX has no record of who holds and uses its cards around the world?

3. Why is AMEX not liable for systems failures in a system that it, itself, designed and built. How is this different from the failings in Australian banks which have raised such ire?

There has to be sympathy with all financial institutions for the difficult position they are put in but there should be consistency.

Here there was a poorly designed system and human error leading to someone that the US government considered to be a significant threat.

------------

OFAC entry 12 January 2009 :

The following individuals have been added to OFAC's SDN list:

WISSER, Gerhard; DOB 2 Jul 1939; POB Lohne, Germany; nationality Germany; Passport 3139001443 (Germany) (individual) [NPWMD]

US State Department Notice 12 January 2009 : https://2001-2009.state.gov/r/...

Designation of A.Q. Khan and Associates for Nuclear Proliferation Activities

Today, January 12, 2009, the Department of State announced that sanctions will be imposed on 13 individuals and three private companies for their involvement in the A.Q. Khan nuclear proliferation network. This announcement comes after a multi-year U.S. government review of the available information pertaining to the activities of this network.

We believe these sanctions will help prevent future proliferation-related activities by these private entities, provide a warning to other would-be proliferators, and demonstrate our ongoing commitment to using all available tools to address proliferation-related activities.

Dr. A.Q. Khan led an extensive international network for the proliferation of nuclear equipment and know-how that provided “one stop shopping” for countries seeking to develop nuclear weapons. He and his associates provided Iran and Libya with centrifuge components, designs, and, in some cases, complete centrifuges. The United States also believes that Khan and his associates provided centrifuge designs, equipment, and technology to North Korea. Dr. Khan also provided Libya with nuclear weapon designs. With the assistance of Khan’s network, countries could leapfrog the slow, incremental stages of other nuclear weapons development programs. In 2004, following Libya’s welcome decision to renounce its nuclear program, the United States removed from Libya items it had received from the network.

The network’s actions have irrevocably changed the proliferation landscape and have had lasting implications for international security. Governments around the world, including Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, and Malaysia, worked closely with the United States to investigate and shut down the network. Governments have also joined together to put in place United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 to criminalize proliferation and have worked cooperatively to establish the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) to enhance international tools to interdict and prevent trade in sensitive technologies.

Many of Dr. Khan’s associates are either in custody, being prosecuted, or have been convicted of crimes. Dr. Khan publicly acknowledged his involvement in the network in 2004, although he later retracted those statements. While we believe the A.Q. Khan network is no longer operating, countries should remain vigilant to ensure that Khan network associates, or others seeking to pursue similar proliferation activities, will not become a future source for sensitive nuclear information or equipment.

Sanctions have been imposed under the following statutes:

Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act (NPPA): Selim Alguadis, Kursad Zafer Cire, Muhammad Nasim ud Din, EKA Elektronik Kontrol Aletleri Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., ETI Elektroteknik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., Muhammad Farooq, Paul Griffin, Peter Griffin, Abdul Qadeer Khan, Shamsul Bahrin bin Rukiban, Buhary Seyed Abu Tahir, and Shah Hakim Shahnazim Zain

Export-Import Bank Act (EXIM): Selim Alguadis, Kursad Zafer Cire, Muhammad Nasim ud Din, EKA Elektronik Kontrol Aletleri Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., ETI Elektroteknik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., Muhammad Farooq, Daniel Geiges, Paul Griffin, Peter Griffin, Abdul Qadeer Khan, Gotthard Lerch, Shamsul Bahrin bin Rukiban, Buhary Seyed Abu Tahir, Gerhard Wisser, and Shah Hakim Shahnazim Zain

Executive Order 12938: Selim Alguadis, Kursad Zafer Cire, Muhammad Nasim ud Din, EKA Elektronik Kontrol Aletleri Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., ETI Elektroteknik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., Muhammad Farooq, Daniel Geiges, Paul Griffin, Peter Griffin, Abdul Qadeer Khan, Gotthard Lerch, Shamsul Bahrin bin Rukiban, Buhary Seyed Abu Tahir, Tradefin Engineering, Gerhard Wisser, and Shah Hakim Shahnazim Zain

Executive Order 13382: Selim Alguadis, Kursad Zafer Cire, Muhammad Farooq, Daniel Geiges, Paul Griffin, Peter Griffin, Abdul Qadeer Khan, Gotthard Lerch, Buhary Seyed Abu Tahir, and Gerhard Wisser

Publication: 
hahagotcha