• U.S. Treasury Sanctions Syria International Islamic Bank
  • June 4, 2012 | Authors: Gabriel Caballero; Andres A. Fernandez
  • Law Firm: Gunster - Miami Office
  • On Wednesday, May 30, 2012, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) sanctioned the Syria International Islamic Bank (“SIIB”) pursuant to Executive Order 13382 for acting for or on behalf of the Commercial Bank of Syria and providing services to the Syrian Lebanese Commercial Bank, both of which are subject to U.S. and international sanctions (the “Designation”).

    The Treasury alleges that SIIB has acted as a front for the Commercial Bank of Syria, allowing it to circumvent sanctions against it by the United States, the European Union and the Arab League.

    SIIB was established in Damascus in September 2007 and has 20 branches and three representative offices throughout Syria.  The Treasury alleges that SIIB surreptitiously facilitated financing worth almost $150 million on behalf of the Commercial Bank of Syria, several substantial payments for the Syrian Lebanese Commercial Bank, and a payment to an entity of proliferation concern.

    As a result of the Designation, financial institutions may need to evaluate and update their existing compliance and risk management programs.