paypal wants to close my account
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Nov 5, 2012 2:52 PM Last Post By: johnabbotsford
Nov 4, 2012 2:22 PM
paypal wants to close my accountI tried purchasing some food for relatives on havanamart the other day and now Paypal wants to close my account. I'm pretty sure I am within my rights to purchase food for my relatives in Cuba, but can't find the law which says I am. Can anyone point me to it, so I can point paypal to it?
Or should I not bother and just give up on trying to use paypal to purchase stuff for cuba? I know how bad paypal is and I never keep any balance with the, I just use them with my credit card.
Nov 4, 2012 3:01 PM
1aha! paypal strikes again! I mistakenly logged on to paypal when I was in Cuba and that was it for me. Even the Australian paypal. So now I use my credit card instead, and I figure that it means only another few keystrokes anyway.
Nov 4, 2012 3:40 PM
2I'm pretty sure I am within my rights to purchase food for my relatives in Cuba
that is irrelevant to the 'rights' or otherwise of US organisations (or those with links to US organisations) to legally have financial dealing with Cuba.
Nov 4, 2012 5:58 PM
3so your saying paypal has no rights to deal with cuba? They emailed me saying I was performing illegal activities, why not email me to tell me they can't complete the transaction on their end?
Here is what I was looking for:
http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/cuba.txt regulation 515.570
I am well within my rights.
Edited by: sdlonely
Nov 4, 2012 6:01 PM
4sdionely: you cannot imagine how paranoid financial institutions are about running afoul of the OFAC regulations. Fines recently have been in the $400 million to $600 million range. Now this certainly has not been for a tourist charging a few mojitos to their credit card but for those institutions transferring large amounts of money to blocked countries and trying to hide it. Nevertheless, the management that makes the policies that govern what is and is not acceptable know that their decision resulting in a half a billion dollar fine is not good for their career. So anything that potentially could be a problem, no matter how slight the odds, is rejected.
Nov 4, 2012 6:09 PM
Nov 4, 2012 6:34 PM
6Unlike Western Union, paypal has not set up any systems to deal with Cuba - it has a blanket ban.
They are not under any duty to provide you with a service and can probably withdraw their service when they feel like it.
They could probably claim that the payment was illegal because you did not provide them with an affidavit that it was legal.
Nov 4, 2012 6:44 PM
7Yes Beardo. And of course even Western Union still has to operate in accordance of the official U.S. regulations (the Cuban Assets Control Regulations — 31 C.F.R. Part 515.570) regarding remittances to Cuba which do not permit all and sundry to send money to or purchase goods in Cuba.
Nov 4, 2012 8:41 PM
Nov 5, 2012 3:54 AM
Forget about using PayPal, As other posters have commented: they will shut down your account for running afoul of the embargo - regardless of whether you actually are running afoul of the embargo (as in my case: Im totally legal but cannot access payments clients make to me via PayPal) This is according to their lawyers, who as someone pointed out, have a blanket ban on Cuba.
Nov 5, 2012 4:02 AM
10And of course even Western Union still has to operate in accordance of the official U.S. regulations (the Cuban Assets Control Regulations — 31 C.F.R. Part 515.570) regarding remittances to Cuba which do not permit all and sundry to send money to or purchase goods in Cuba.
Actually current OFAC regulations permit any American to sent up to $500 every 3 months to anyone in Cuba provided they are not a government or communist party official. Remittances to family members are unlimited, again with the government or communist party limitation.
Nov 5, 2012 8:11 AM
11Here is what I was looking for regulation 515.570. I am well within my rights
I understand your frustration but the only rights you have to engage in financial transactions with Cubans in Cuba are those that are authorized by the Cuban Asset Control Regulations. 31 CFR § 515.570 authorizes remittances (i.e. money) to defined family members. It does not authorize a US citizen/resident to send material goods and products to Cuban family. Even if that was an authorized transaction, Paypal has the right to establish its own policies/procedures about how it does business. Since US financial insitututions are "sitting ducks" for the OFAC when it comes to enforcement of economic sanctions and money laundering regulations, it is hardly surprising Paypal has declined to process any transactions involving Cuba.
Nov 5, 2012 8:33 AM
12HSBC announced this morning that they were reserving $1.5 Billion ($1,500,000,000) in anticipation of a negotiated fine for money laundering in international financial transactions. They also anticipate criminal charges against the managers involved.
Only a small amount of these illegal transactions involved Cuba but the size of the fine gives everyone an idea of the risks financial institutions face. They are just doing blanket declines as policy to insure they have no problems.
Nov 5, 2012 10:08 AM
13I cancelled my PayPal account when they refused to honor my contribution to WikiLeaks (not that my little boycott amounts to anything). There are other options. (Even if Caribbean Tranfers now seems to be out of action for, err, tranferring $43,000,000+ from Medicare and Medicaide fraud mills in So. Florida to accounts in Cuban banks!
Nov 5, 2012 2:52 PM
14..#10 Absolutely. My point as usually expressed badly was that even with WUnion any transactions are not unencumbered by regulations and requir various boxes to be ticked. Certainly not open slather.
#12 Re HSBC - some countries - I think UK is one - with HSBC accounts allow their credit cards to operate in Cuba. Certainly the OZ HSBC bank(s) do not. So difficult to keep on top of all this!
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