Airbnb closes deal with US for violating sanctions imposed on Cuba

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Bangalore (India) , The US Treasury Department said it has entered into an agreement with a unit of Airbnb Property Rental Co., which is accused of violating US sanctions against Cuba.

“Airbnb Payments has agreed to send $91,172.29 to Cuba to settle its potential civil liability for apparent breach of sanctions against Cuba administered by the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC),” the department said in a statement.

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Apparently, the breaches included payments relating to guests traveling outside OFAC-authorized categories, as well as failure to maintain certain required records related to Cuba-related transactions, the Treasury Department said.

The department said the apparent violations of Airbnb payments were voluntarily disclosed and were not serious.

According to the Treasury Department, Airbnb began its Cuban business in 2015 and the company’s expansion of services to the island “exceeded the company’s ability to manage the associated acceptance risks”.

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The United States has banned trade with Cuba since 1960, making it the oldest US economic sanctions program.

“We take the enforcement of sanctions very seriously. We are pleased to have reached this agreement with OFAC,” an Airbnb spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement.

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About the author: Sarah Gracie

Sarahis a reporter covering Amazon. She previously covered tech and transportation, and she broke stories on Uber's finances, self-driving car program, and cultural crisis. Before that, she covered cybersecurity in finance. Sarah's work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Politico, and the Houston Chronicle.

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