Friday, April 23, 2021

Trade Finance Insurer, Atradius Hit With U.S. Sanctions Penalty

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A trade finance company has been fined for allegedly buying and collecting debt of a blacklisted entity, the Treasury Department said Friday.

A U.S. subsidiary of Dutch trade finance insurer Atradius NV agreed to pay more than $345,000 to settle allegations that it violated U.S. sanctions, according to a statement from the Treasury.

Atradius Trade Credit Insurance Inc., the Hunt Valley, Md.-based subsidiary, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The Treasury alleges that Atradius Trade Credit Insurance was assigned the right by a U.S. cosmetics company to collect more than $5.7 million of debt owed by Panama-based Grupo Wisa SA in October 2016.

Related: Standard Chartered to pay $1.1B for violating Iran sanctions

Grupo Wisa, a holding company involved in real estate, retail and hospitality, was blacklisted by the U.S. earlier that year, according to the Treasury, which didn’t name the cosmetics company. The U.S. says Grupo Wisa has had ties to Panama-based drug money laundering network Waked Money Laundering Organization, which was designated as a narcotics trafficker in 2016.

A representative for Grupo Wisa didn’t immediately provide a comment for this article.

Atradius Trade Credit Insurance allegedly filed a claim in Panama as a creditor in Grupo Wisa’s liquidation and received more than $4 million in payment from the liquidation of Grupo Wisa’s assets in Panama in June 2017, according to the Treasury Department.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which administers and enforces U.S. sanctions, said Atradius Trade Credit Insurance didn’t voluntarily disclose the alleged violations, but the department credited the company for conducting an internal review and cooperating with the agency’s investigation.

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