By Rob Rowe
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is withdrawing its proposed rulemaking to impose special measures against Lebanese Canadian Bank SAL (LCB). In 2011, FinCEN concluded that LCB was a financial institution of primary money laundering concern and published a proposed rulemaking to impose the fifth special measure—prohibiting the opening or maintaining of correspondent or payable-through accounts for the bank. FinCEN had reason to believe that LCB – which is based in Lebanon and operates a network of 35 branches in Lebanon and Montreal, Canada – had ties with an international narcotics trafficking and money laundering network, including the Treasury-designated terrorist group, Hezbollah, and Lebanese-Colombian drug trafficker and money launderer Ayman Saied Joumaa.
The Lebanese Central Bank has since revoked LCB’s banking license and its assets have been liquidated. LCB no longer exists as a foreign financial institution and FinCEN therefore will not proceed with its proposed 2011 rulemaking.