Honduras: Forced Liquidation of Banco Continental

It has been announced that deposits up to $9,200 (L200,000) per person will be returned, and then payments to employees, depositors and others, noting that "... there are sufficient resources to address them all."

Monday, October 12, 2015

The cause is the inclusion of the institution in the list of the U.S Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the freezing of its assets abroad. Jaime Rosenthal Oliva, president of the Continental Group, had proposed the voluntary liquidation of the institution, which was not accepted by the National Banking and Insurance Commission of Honduras (CNBS).

Last Wednesday the Treasury Department of the United States accused three Honduran businessmen belonging to the Rosenthal family of being part of a network that provides services of laundering money from drug trafficking, freezing all personal assets and those of related entities under the jurisdiction of the United States.

A statement issued by the US Treasury Department states that "... The OFAC action targets seven key Rosenthal businesses including their principal Panamanian holding company, Inversiones Continental (Panama), S.A. de C.V., known as Grupo Continental. Grupo Continental is the parent company of a conglomerate of businesses in Honduras involved in banking, financial services, real estate, agriculture, construction, tourism, and media. Announced today along with Grupo Continental are its agricultural arm, Empacadora Continental S.A de C.V. (now known as Alimentos Continental), and two of its key financial components, Inversiones Continental, S.A. (a.k.a. Grupo Financiero Continental) and the Honduran bank, Banco Continental S.A., headquartered in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. ( see original statement in English)

More on this topic

Rosenthal Case: Which Companies Can Keep Operating

October 2015

Assurance has been given that companies where Continental Group or its shareholders have a minority participation may continue to operate normally.

As outlined in an article on Televicentro.hn , the general coordinator of Government, Jorge Ramon Hernandez Alcerro, stated that "...

Rosenthal Organization Profiled by the US

October 2015

Diagram showing the people and companies identified by actions related to money laundering, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury´s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Rosenthal Money Laundering Organization Chart.

Regarding the Liquidation of Banco Continental

October 2015

The US Treasury Department has advised that it will not sanction individuals or institutions participating in the liquidation provided that those transactions do not benefit any individual or entity other than those previously identified by the OFAC.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Treasury Department of the United States has issued a statement regarding the decision of the Honduran authorities to liquidate Continental Bank, after identifying the institution and several of its executives as being involved in drug money laundering:

Honduras: Drug Trafficking and the Economy

October 2015

Money laundering has positive economic effect on economies, but also impoverishes the quality of institutions leading to dramatic effects on quality of life in society.

The excellent analysis by Norma Lezcano in his article on Estrategiaynegocios.net, on the US Treasury Department´s inclusion of members of the powerful Rosenthal family in the list of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) can be extrapolated to all Central American countries, and is a warning to the governments of the region, where drug trafficking has ingratiated itself and is creeping through state institutions, weakening them by making them serve criminal aims, and preventing them from carrying out their duties properly.

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