Treasury Focuses More On Cuba Than Terror Money

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The Treasury Department agency charged with blocking the financial resources of terrorists says that as of last year, it had only four full-time employees dedicated to investigating Osama bin Laden’s and Saddam Hussein’s wealth while nearly two dozen were working on Cuban embargo violations, the Associated Press reports. The Office of Foreign Assets Control told Congress that between 1990 and 2003 it opened just 93 enforcement investigations related to terrorism and collected $9,425 in fines since 1994.

OFAC opened 10,683 enforcement investigations since 1990 for possible violations of the long-standing economic embargo against Fidel Castro’s regime, and collected more than $8 million in fines, mostly from people who did business with Cuba without permission.

The figures prompted top members of the Senate Finance Committee to question whether OFAC has failed to adjust from the Cold War. “OFAC plays a key role in the war against terrorism since it is responsible for shutting down terrorist financing activities – which has nothing to do with Americans taking bike tours through Cuba,” said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A52788-2004Apr29.html

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