Regarding the Liquidation of Banco Continental

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.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

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:

STATEMENT ON PROPOSED LIQUIDATION OF BANCO CONTINENTAL

On October 7, 2015, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
announced the designation of Banco Continental S.A., headquartered in San Pedro Sula,
Honduras, as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act for playing a significant role in international narcotics trafficking. That same day, OFAC announced the designations of Jaime Rolando Rosenthal Oliva, along with his son, Yani Benjamin Rosenthal Hidalgo, and his nephew, Yankel Antonio Rosenthal Coello, for providing money laundering and other services that support the international narcotics trafficking activities of multiple Central American drug traffickers and their criminal organizations. Banco Continental S.A. served as an integral part of the Rosenthal money laundering operations and facilitated the laundering of narcotics proceeds for multiple Central American drug trafficking organizations.

On October 10, 2015, the Government of Honduras informed OFAC that it had initiated
proceedings to liquidate Banco Continental S.A. We understand that Banco Continental S.A. is now under the control of the Government of Honduras and is being managed by a government appointed liquidator.

In light of this action by the Government of Honduras, OFAC understands that non-U.S. persons — including Honduran and other financial institutions in the region — will need to engage in transactions to liquidate and wind down Banco Continental S.A. Such non-U.S. persons will not be designated or be the subject of an enforcement action for engaging in transactions related to the liquidation and wind-down of Banco Continental S.A., provided that they do not undertake such transactions with knowledge that such transactions involve or benefit, directly or indirectly, any individual or entity other than Banco Continental S.A. that is listed on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals or Blocked Persons or that otherwise constitutes a person whose property and interests in property are blocked.

However, to the extent such a transaction to liquidate or wind down Banco Continental S.A. involves a U.S. person, including a U.S. financial institution, or is within the jurisdiction of the United States, that transaction would be prohibited unless authorized by OFAC. Applications for such OFAC authorization may be submitted via the OFAC Web site.



More on this topic

USA Denounces Money Laundering Network in Panama

May 2016

A list of people and companies involved in international money laundering includes brothers Abdul and Nidal Waked, another 6 individuals, and 68 companies, among which is Balboa Bank.

The businessmen Abdul and Nidal Waked and companies such as Grupo Wisa, Vida Panama and Balboa Bank, have been included in the "Clinton" list which indicates which people and related organizations are linked to money laundering and drug trafficking activities.

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.

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.

Honduras: Forced Liquidation of Banco Continental

October 2015

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."

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.

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