BNP Paribas to pay record $8.97 billion penalty to the US

BNP Paribas, the world’s fourth largest bank, agreed to enter a guilty plea and pay a penalty of $8.97 billion  to settle the charges that it 'knowingly and wilfully' processed transactions worth billions of dollars for blacklisted entities from Cuba, Sudan and Iran

BNP Paribas, the world’s fourth largest bank, will pay a record $8.97 billion in penalties to settle the charges that it “knowingly and wilfully” processed transactions worth billions of dollars on behalf of Cuban, Sudanese and Iranian entities that had been blacklisted.


BNP Paribas, the financial institution headquartered in Paris, agreed to enter a guilty plea to conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA), the first time a global bank has agreed to plead guilty to large-scale, systematic violations of US economic sanctions.


The plea agreement, subject to approval by the court, provides that BNPP will pay total financial penalties of $8.97 billion, including forfeiture of $8.83 billion and a fine of $140 million.


“BNP Paribas went to elaborate lengths to conceal prohibited transactions, cover its tracks, and deceive US authorities. These actions represent a serious breach of US law,” US Attorney General Eric Holder said.


Holder said, “Sanctions are a key tool in protecting US national security interests, but they only work if they are strictly enforced. If sanctions are to have teeth, violations must be punished. Banks thinking about conducting business in violation of US sanctions should think twice because the Justice Department will not look the other way.”


Manhattan’s top federal prosecutor Preet Bharara said BNPP “banked on never being held to account for its criminal support of countries and entities engaged in acts of terrorism and other atrocities’’.


He said the world’s fourth largest bank will pay penalties for “performing the hat trick of sanctions violations, unlawfully opening the doors of the US financial markets to three sanctioned countries, Sudan, Iran and Cuba.


“For years, BNPP provided access to billions of dollars to these sanctioned countries, as well as to individuals and groups specifically identified and designated by the US government as being subject to sanctions. The bank did so deliberately and secretly, in ways designed to evade detection by the US authorities,” Bharara said.


According to documents, over the course of eight years, BNPP “knowingly and wilfully” moved more than $8.8 billion through the US financial system on behalf of Sudanese, Iranian and Cuban sanctioned entities, in violation of US economic sanctions, including more than $4.3 billion in transactions involving entities on whom the US had slapped economic curbs.


The New York County District Attorney’s Office also announced that BNPP pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to falsifying business records and conspiring to falsify business records.


In addition, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System said the bank has agreed to a cease and desist order, take certain remedial steps to ensure its compliance with US law in its ongoing operations, and pay a civil monetary penalty of $508 million.


The bank has also agreed to terminate or separate from the bank 13 employees, including the Group Chief Operating Officer and other senior executives, suspend US dollar clearing operations through its New York Branch and other affiliates for one year for business lines on which the misconduct centered.


The NSA revelations all in one chart

ProPublica plotted the NSA programs, showing which ones fall squarely into the agency's stated mission of foreign surveillance, and which ones are more controversial

Illustrations by Alberto Cairo (special to ProPublica)

This is a plot of the NSA programs revealed in the past year according to whether they are bulk or targeted, and whether the targets of surveillance are foreign or domestic. Most of the programs fall squarely into the agency’s stated mission of foreign surveillance, but some – particularly those that are both domestic and broad-sweeping – are more controversial.

Just as with the New York Magazine approval matrix that served as our inspiration, the placement of each program is based on judgments and is approximate.

For more details, read our FAQ or listen to our podcast. Also, take our quiz to test your NSA knowledge.



Program Name







Squeaky Dolphin

A British effort to monitor YouTube video views, URLS "liked" on Facebook and Blogger visits.




Optic Nerve

A British program to bulk collect images from Yahoo webcam chats: "It would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person."




Honey Traps

A British spy effort to conduct covert Internet investigations, including sexual "honey-traps."




Hacking Anonymous

A British spy unit to monitor hacktivists such as the group Anonymous.




Royal Concierge

A GCHQ program to monitor hotel reservations for "governmental hard targets."




Swedish-American surveillance of Russia

A Swedish-American effort to spy on Russian leadership.





A large network of clandestine surveillance "sensors" to collect data from satellites, cables, and microwave communications around the world.





A network of active command and control servers around the world that can be used for "industrial scale exploitation."




Internet Metadata

A program, ended in 2011, to sweep up domestic Internet metadata such as the To and From fields in emails.




A so-called man-in-the-middle attack for "mass exploitation" of traffic "passing through network choke points" as well as "surgical target selection."




Buddy List, Address Book Spying

An NSA effort to collect hundreds of millions of contact lists from email and instant messaging accounts.




Program to Discredit Militants

An NSA effort to spy on targets' online sexual activity.





An NSA effort to use Web cookies and data from phone apps to identify users' devices and physical locations.




50,000 implants

An NSA map of the 50,000 computers worldwide it has implanted with surveillance malware.




Targeting Embassies

An NSA operation targeting the Italian embassy in Washington D.C.





An NSA program to break into Chinese-owned Huawei networks and products.





An NSA program to collect images from emails for facial recognition.





An NSA program to collect up to 200 million text messages a day worldwide.





An NSA program to geolocate people's SIM cards via Predator drones.





An NSA technique to deploy malware by sending out emails that trick targets into clicking a malicious link.




Tapping Underseas Cables

Companies - including BT, Vodafone, and Verizon Business - gave GCHQ access to their underseas cables.




LinkedIn Hack

Engineers at a Belgian telcom were infected with malware, via a technique called QuantumInsert, when they pulled up their LinkedIn profiles.




Cellphone Location Test

In 2010 and 2011, the NSA tested bulk collection of location data from Americans cellphones.




Joint NSA and GCHQ effort to undermine and weaken cryptography standards and tools.



Angry Birds

NSA and GCHQ efforts to intercept information transmitted by phone apps, including Angry Birds.




Hacking OPEC

NSA and GCHQ programs to infiltrate the OPEC oil cartel




Hacking Al Jazeera

NSA hacked into Al Jazeera's internal communications system.





NSA programs that inject spyware onto targets' computers through so-called "man on the side" attacks. Variants include QuantumInsert, QuantumBiscuit, and QuantumSmackdown.




Hammerchant / Hammerstein

NSA programs to spy on data sent through voice over IP calls and Virtual Private Networks.




Surveillance of 2009 U.N. Climate Change conference

NSA surveillance of the 2009 U.N. Climate Change conference.




EgotisticalGoat and EgotisticalGiraffe

The Egotistical animal programs are techniques to track users of Tor anonymizing software.





The NSA and GCHQ have jointly operated a program to intercept data from Yahoo and Google networks.




Spying on Gamers

The NSA and GCHQ monitored games including World of Warcraft.




Co-Traveler/ FASCIA

The NSA collected 5 billion records a day of cellphone locations worldwide.




G8 and G20 Summit Spying

The NSA conducted surveillance during the 2010 G8 and G20 summits in Canada.




Cracking cellphone encryption

The NSA has the capability to defeat a widely-used cellphone encryption technology.




Hacking Angela Merkel

The NSA targeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone.





The NSA tested a technique for using drones to map "the Wi-Fi fingerprint of nearly every major town in Yemen."





The Prism program collects data from the servers of U.S. technology companies.



NoseySmurf, TrackerSmurf, DreamySmurf, ParanoidSmurf

The Smurf programs get inside iPhones and Android devices, turning on microphones, tracking location, and managing power.





The Upstream program collects communications transiting the Internet via commercial partners codenamed Fairview, Stormbrew, Blarney, and Oakstar.



Phone Metadata

The well-known and controversial program to collect of phone call records - aka metadata - of nearly all Americans.




Tracfin amasses gigabytes of data about credit card purchases.




ANT catalog

Various techniques - with names like IronChef and DropoutJeep - used to inject surveillance software into Apple, Cisco, Dell and other products.









Sensex, Nifty may move higher – Monday closing report

Nifty should stay above 7,550 for it to gain further strength

We had mentioned in our Friday’s closing report that the S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty may be up for a short rally. After opening with a big gap, the indices on Monday held the gains and rose higher. In the last hour, both the indices made a quick upmove to hit the day’s high.

The Sensex opened at 25,180, while the Nifty opened at 7,534. Sensex moved up to 25,461 and closed at 25,414 (up 314 points or 1.25%), while Nifty hit a high of 7,624 and closed at 7,611 (up 103 points or 1.37%). The NSE recorded a turnover of 98.51 crore shares. India VIX rose 1.39% to close at 17.8725.

All the other indices on the NSE closed in the green. The top five gainers were PSU Bank (3.42%), Nifty Midcap 50 (3.02%), PSE (2.57%), Infra (2.48%) and CPSE (2.26%).

Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 42 ended in the green. The top five gainers were BPCL (5.32%), IDFC (5.30%), PNB (4.31%), Sun Pharma (4.03%) and Tata Power (3.85%). The top five losers were United Spirits (3.87%), Maruti (0.70%), Bajaj Auto (0.61%), M&M (0.48%), Tata Motors (0.40%).

Of the 1,581 companies on the NSE, 1,140 companies closed in the green, 390 companies closed in the red while 51 companies closed flat.
India and China on Monday signed three key memorandums of understanding (MoUs). The MoU on industrial parks is aimed at attracting Chinese investments in India and provides an enabling framework for Chinese companies to invest in industrial parks and zones.

As crude prices dropped, concerns arising from the impact of high crude oil prices on India's macroeconomic situation eased. A monthly revision in diesel prices is due later in the day i.e. 30 June 2014.

PSU Banks are in focus these days. There had been news that the government is likely to take a decision on a proposal to create a holding company structure for public sector banks before the Budget and a roadmap for this is likely to be announced in the budget. Syndicate Bank (10.90%), Allahabad Bank (9.18%), Andhra Bank (7.69%), Canara Bank (6.77%), IOB (6.68%), Union Bank (6.18%), Bank of India (5.94%), Oriental Bank (5.84%), Dena Bank (5.64%) and Uco Bank (5.37%) were among the top 15 gainers in the ‘A’ group on the BSE.

United Spirits (4.21%) was the top loser in the ‘A’ group on the BSE. The company was recently in the news when UK-based Diageo Plc made an open offer to buy a 26% stake in the Indian company in April. The open offer, which ended recently, was made at Rs3,030 per share. Sun Pharma (3.87%) was the top gainer in the Sensex 30 pack. Taro, Israel-based subsidiary of Sun Pharma, recently hiked the price of 11 products. Sun owns a 70% stake in Taro. Maruti (0.47%) was among the top two losers in the Sensex.

US indices closed in the positive on Friday. The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits declined last week, the latest evidence that a sharp economic slowdown earlier this year hasn't caused employers to cut jobs. Weekly unemployment benefit applications fell by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 312,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Except for Hang Seng (0.13%), NZSE 50 (0.05%) and Straits Times (0.47%), all the other Asian indices closed in the green. Taiwan Weighted (0.93%) was the top gainer.

European indices are showing mixed trends, while US Futures are trading in the negative.


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