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U.S. sanctions British Group for violating Cuba blockade


HAVANA, Cuba, Apr 12 (ACN) The United States announced that the British Acteon Group, a provider of submarine services in the oil and gas industry, will have to pay 227,500 dollars for alleged violations of the blockade on Cuba.

Prensa Latina reports that on Thursday the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Treasury Department announced that it had reached an agreement for that amount with the company and several subsidiaries to 'liquidate the possible civil liability for seven apparent violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR)'.

One of the company's subsidiaries is 2H Offshore Engineering Ltd., which is also headquartered in the United Kingdom and has two subsidiaries in Malaysia, collectively known as 2H KL.

According to the U.S. federal entity, the punishment is due to the fact that approximately from May 18, 2011 to October 18, 2012, 2H KL conducted engineering design analysis for oil well drilling projects in Cuban territorial waters and sent its engineers to the Caribbean island to conduct workshops on the subject.

OFAC determined that 2H Offshore voluntarily disclosed the apparent violations, and that these constitute a flagrant case, the Treasury Department added.

Separately, the office disclosed that it reached a $213,866 settlement with KKR & Co. Inc., a New York-based global investment firm; Acteon; and the collectively known subsidiaries of Acteon Seatronics, for 13 apparent violations of the CACR and three violations of Iran's Transactions and Sanctions Regulations.

According to the United States, between August 12, 2010 and March 16, 2012, Acteon violated the sanctions against the Caribbean island when Seatronics rented or sold equipment for oil exploration projects in Cuban territorial waters and sent engineers from the company.

OFAC also added that from September 10 to November 11, 2014, a Seatronics branch in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, rented or sold equipment to customers who appeared to have sent it to vessels operating in the Persian country's territorial waters.

These new punishments come only two days after British bank Standard Chartered agreed to pay $1.1 billion for allegedly violating the U.S. blockade of Cuba and sanctions against Iran, Syria, Sudan and Myanmar.

Washington persists in maintaining the economic, commercial and financial siege of almost 60 years of Cuba; despite the fact that several polls have shown that the majority of the U.S. population opposes this policy.

Likewise, with the continuity of the blockade, the United States ignores the calls of the international community, the vast majority of which annually ask the UN to put an end to it.

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