AON faces US sanctions, fines, over Zim diamonds

June 6, 2012

ZimEye.org on June 6, 2012 released the following:

“By Gift Kugara

Harare(ZimEye)The world’s biggest insurance broker in sales, which is also a sponsor of Manchester United football club, AON Corporation, is currently faced with investigations over Zimbabwe’s so called ‘blood diamonds’, ZimEye can exclusively reveal.

There are reports that the company’s Zimbabwe arm of the broking group has already been warned by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) over its dealings with sanctioned Mbada Diamonds and is currently under discussion for possible breach of US laws.

Highly placed sources within the firm have confirmed that, just until recently, AON was the designated insurance broker for Mbada Diamonds.

The company’s Zimbabwe wing is partly owned by TA Holdings. TA Holdings has a 30% stake in Aon Zimbabwe, and TA Holdings has 33.8% owned by Masawara PLC, an investment firm based in the Channel Islands . TA Holdings has under its porfolio Aon Zimbabwe, Zimnat Life, Zimnat Lion Insurance, Grand Reinsurance Company, Lion Assurance Company and Botswana Insurance Company in its portfolio. AON Zimbabwe’s parent company is US owned although it recently moved its headquarters from Chicago to London.

In this view, AON Corporation, falls under the US jurisdiction and any violation of OFAC which administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes would result in huge fines.

Mbada Diamonds was listed on US sanctions last year as a result of its negative record on reported human rights abuses and links with ZANU (PF). When asked to comment, a US Embassy spokesperson (name withheld) in Harare stated that while Mbada remains under sanctions, any person or company under US jurisdiction which trades with Mbada is guilty of contravening US statutes.

“As a company controlled by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), Mbada Diamonds is subject to sanctions administered by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). In July 2008, following widespread political violence in Zimbabwe, OFAC added the state-owned ZMDC to its list of sanctioned entities. As a consequence, U.S. nationals may not do business with ZMDC or with companies in which ZMDC has significant ownership,” she said.

Contacted for comment, AON Zimbabwe Managing Director, Susan Mutangadura refused to answer on either whether a warning from OFAC was issued or that they conducted business with Mbada Diamonds in the past:

“Client confidentiality is an integral part of the way we do business with our clients, current and prospective. I am accordingly not able to issue a statement as requested,” She stated.

On the other hand Mbada Diamonds gave an unclear reply as their Public Relations officer and former Herald reporter, Mr Tafadzwa Chiremba, initially asked this reporter to reveal his sources and later replying stating:

“I hereby inform you that as Mbada Diamonds we are courteous to reveal our service providers to the public. This is so in view of protecting them from the purge of illegal sanctions that were slapped on our company by the US.”

Aon group is not new to controversy as it has been allegedly involved in corruption, bribes and human rights abuses in the past. In 2009, the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) fined the company a £5.25 million for anti-corruption failings, with the group’s UK subsidiary found guilty of failing to crack down on possible bribery. The FSA found the company had made “suspicious payments” worth £4.6m to people and firms overseas. In 2004, the company was singled out by a human rights organisation, Burma Campaign for allegedly “directly or indirectly helping to finance Burma’s brutal military dictatorship.”

In 2011, Aon is reported to have paid $100 Million in Penalties and Disgorgements for FCPA violations including more than $16 million in fines to settle charges that its subsidiaries bribed foreign government officials. (ZIMBABWE, ZimEye)”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
OFAC SDN Removal Videos:

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Zim diamond groups added to US ‘sanctions’ list

December 13, 2011

SW Radio Africa on December 12, 2011 released the following:

“By Alex Bell

The US has added two diamond mining firms operating at Chiadzwa to its list of targeted sanctions, which remain in place against Robert Mugabe and key figures and companies of his regime.

The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) updated its ‘specially designated nationals list’ to include Mbada Diamonds and Marange Resources, which are both joint venture groups with the State-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC). The ZMDC is already on the ‘sanctions’ list, meaning legally no US company or individual is allowed to do business with it.

This update of the sanctions list follows the recent decision by the diamond trade watchdog group, the Kimberley Process (KP), to give diamond exports from Chiadzwa the green light, despite reports of human rights abuses there. There are also claims that the proceeds from diamond sales could be used to shore up the Mugabe regime, with top ZANU PF officials said to be the primary beneficiaries of the mining firms.

These concerns had originally left the KP deadlocked for more than two years over how to deal with Zimbabwe, which came under pressure to fall in line with the minimum standards of the industry. But despite these standards still not being met, the KP has since appeared to bow to pressure from Zim supporters by allowing trade to resume.

It is for this reason that international rights group Global Witness, last week pulled out of the civil society wing of the KP. The group said last Monday that the KP’s “refusal to evolve and address the clear links between diamonds, violence and tyranny has rendered it increasingly outdated.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
OFAC SDN Removal Videos:

OFAC Litigation – SDN List Removal

OFAC SDN List Removal

OFAC SDN Removal Attorneys

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Zimbabwe [Zimbabwe] Entries Added to OFAC’s SDN List on December 9, 2011

December 9, 2011

Today, OFAC has added [Zimbabwe] Entries to the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN List):

The following [Zimbabwe] entries have been added to OFAC’s SDN list:

BLOCK WOOD MINING (a.k.a. MARANGE RESOURCES; a.k.a. MARANGE RESOURCES (PRIVATE) LIMITED; a.k.a. MARANGE RESOURCES LTD), MMCZ Building, 90 Mutare Road, Harare, Zimbabwe; P.O. Box 4101, Harare, Zimbabwe [ZIMBABWE]

CONDURANGO (a.k.a. CONDURANGO INVESTMENTS PVT LTD; a.k.a. MBADA; a.k.a. MBADA DIAMOND MINING; a.k.a. MBADA DIAMONDS; a.k.a. MBADA DIAMONDS (PRIVATE) LIMITED), New Office Park, Block C, Sam Levy’s Village, Borrowdale, Harare, Zimbabwe; P.O. Box CY1342, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe [ZIMBABWE]

CONDURANGO INVESTMENTS PVT LTD (a.k.a. CONDURANGO; a.k.a. MBADA; a.k.a. MBADA DIAMOND MINING; a.k.a. MBADA DIAMONDS; a.k.a. MBADA DIAMONDS (PRIVATE) LIMITED), New Office Park, Block C, Sam Levy’s Village, Borrowdale, Harare, Zimbabwe; P.O. Box CY1342, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe [ZIMBABWE]

MARANGE RESOURCES (f.k.a. BLOCK WOOD MINING; a.k.a. MARANGE RESOURCES (PRIVATE) LIMITED; a.k.a. MARANGE RESOURCES LTD), MMCZ Building, 90 Mutare Road, Harare, Zimbabwe; P.O. Box 4101, Harare, Zimbabwe [ZIMBABWE]

MARANGE RESOURCES (PRIVATE) LIMITED (f.k.a. BLOCK WOOD MINING; a.k.a. MARANGE RESOURCES; a.k.a. MARANGE RESOURCES LTD), MMCZ Building, 90 Mutare Road, Harare, Zimbabwe; P.O. Box 4101, Harare, Zimbabwe [ZIMBABWE]

MARANGE RESOURCES LTD (f.k.a. BLOCK WOOD MINING; a.k.a. MARANGE RESOURCES; a.k.a. MARANGE RESOURCES (PRIVATE) LIMITED), MMCZ Building, 90 Mutare Road, Harare, Zimbabwe; P.O. Box 4101, Harare, Zimbabwe [ZIMBABWE]

MBADA (a.k.a. CONDURANGO; a.k.a. CONDURANGO INVESTMENTS PVT LTD; a.k.a. MBADA DIAMOND MINING; a.k.a. MBADA DIAMONDS; a.k.a. MBADA DIAMONDS (PRIVATE) LIMITED), New Office Park, Block C, Sam Levy’s Village, Borrowdale, Harare, Zimbabwe; P.O. Box CY1342, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe [ZIMBABWE]

MBADA DIAMOND MINING (a.k.a. CONDURANGO; a.k.a. CONDURANGO INVESTMENTS PVT LTD; a.k.a. MBADA; a.k.a. MBADA DIAMONDS; a.k.a. MBADA DIAMONDS (PRIVATE) LIMITED), New Office Park, Block C, Sam Levy’s Village, Borrowdale, Harare, Zimbabwe; P.O. Box CY1342, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe [ZIMBABWE]

MBADA DIAMONDS (a.k.a. CONDURANGO; a.k.a. CONDURANGO INVESTMENTS PVT LTD; a.k.a. MBADA; a.k.a. MBADA DIAMOND MINING; a.k.a. MBADA DIAMONDS (PRIVATE) LIMITED), New Office Park, Block C, Sam Levy’s Village, Borrowdale, Harare, Zimbabwe; P.O. Box CY1342, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe [ZIMBABWE]

MBADA DIAMONDS (PRIVATE) LIMITED (a.k.a. CONDURANGO; a.k.a. CONDURANGO INVESTMENTS PVT LTD; a.k.a. MBADA; a.k.a. MBADA DIAMOND MINING; a.k.a. MBADA DIAMONDS), New Office Park, Block C, Sam Levy’s Village, Borrowdale, Harare, Zimbabwe; P.O. Box CY1342, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe [ZIMBABWE]

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
OFAC SDN Removal Videos:

OFAC Litigation – SDN List Removal

OFAC SDN List Removal

OFAC SDN Removal Attorneys

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.