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Cablegate: Libyan Sanctions: Djiboutian Company Requests

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS DJIBOUTI 000713

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EFIN DJ LY
SUBJECT: LIBYAN SANCTIONS: DJIBOUTIAN COMPANY REQUESTS
RELEASE OF ASSETS

REF: SECSTATE 95015

1. (U) This is an action message.

2. (U) Following the announcement ending most commercial
sanctions against Libya, the Banque Indosuez Mer Rouge
branch located in Djibouti sent Embassy Djibouti a letter
requesting assistance, on behalf of SVAMC SARL DJIBOUTI,
in recovering assets frozen by Citibank New York under ILSA.
The assets frozen were $74,000 USD in payment for the
purchase by the Libyan Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
of four Suzuki vehicles from SVAMC SARL DJIBOUTI. Embassy
requests Department's assistance in resolving this
long-standing issue.

3. (U) Following is a brief outline of key dates in the
SVAMC SARL DJIBOUTI case:
--September 18, 2001: Libyan Embassy in Ethiopia
purchases four Suzuki vehicles from SVAMC SARL DJIBOUTI
for a total of $74,000 USD.
--November 19, 2001: Gianni Rizzo, owner of SVAMC SARL, asks
Banque Indosuez Mer Rouge (BCIMR) to inquire into the delay
in payment for the Suzuki purchase.
--December 4, 2001: Commercial Bank of Ethiopia informs BCIMR
that the request was made to transfer funds to the SVAMC SARL
account at Citibank New York, however the funds transfer had
been blocked due to sanctions against Libya.
--March 5, 2002: BCIMR requests Embassy assistance in
resolving the issue of blocked funds.
--March 6, 2002: SVAMC SARL DJIBOUTI files application to
OFAC for a release of funds.
--May 6, 2002: Department of Treasury sends notification of
receipt of SVAMC SARL's request to release funds.
--May 20, 2002: BCIMR requests Embassy assistance a second
time to intervene due to SVAMC SARL's decision to bring the
matter to the Djiboutian Courts. (It is unclear what, if any,
Embassy action was taken at that time.)
--May 3, 2004: BCIMR again requests Embassy's assistance in
unblocking funds transfer for the SVAMC SARL transaction.

4. (U) Embassy has made available in its consular section
information and guidance provided reftel. We believe lifting
of the embargo may make possible completion of the
transaction herein described. Post can provide copies of
documentation received, if required.
RAGSDALE

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