BNP Paribas to pay $8.83bn fine

French bank agrees to pay fine for violating sanctions that the US imposed on Sudan, Iran and Cuba.

    US prosecutors said BNP Paribas' conduct was known and condoned at the highest levels of the bank [AFP]
    US prosecutors said BNP Paribas' conduct was known and condoned at the highest levels of the bank [AFP]

    BNP Paribas has pleaded guilty to two criminal charges and agreed to pay $8.83 billion in a broad agreement with US authorities over charges the French bank violated US sanctions laws.

    A lawyer for BNP briefly appeared in New York state court on Monday and pleaded guilty to one count of falsifying business records and one count of conspiracy.

    Assistant District Attorney Ted Starishevsky said the bank engaged in a "long-term, multi-jurisdictional conspiracy" to violate sanctions laws by facilitating transactions involving Sudan, Cuba, and Iran.

    "This conduct, this conspiracy was known and condoned at the highest levels of BNP," Starishevsky said.

    The bank's general counsel, Georges Dirani, told the judge that BNP took steps to evade sanctions between 2004 and 2012 that the United States imposed on Sudan, Cuba and Iran.

    US authorities have been examining whether BNP Paribas evaded US sanctions, in part by stripping identifying information from wire transfers so they could pass through the US financial system without raising red flags.

    BNP Paribas is also likely to be suspended from making dollar payments on behalf of clients in some businesses for as long as a year, sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters, an untested and potentially severe penalty for the French bank.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.