February 15, 2019

Cuban Front Company’s European Network

The leadership and owners of ETCO International Commodities Ltd., a Cuban government front company in the UK, have commercial interests in a European network of trading companies owned by offshore holding vehicles.

According to UK corporate records, two ETCO International Commodities directors hold the same post with UK Global Commodities Limited, which advertises itself as an international commodities trading firm that can “procure and supply products” for a wide range of sectors, including construction, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and tobacco.”

UK Global Commodities Limited, which disclosed revenues just north of £7 million in 2017, also shares an address with ETCO International Commodities near London’s Regent Park. ETCO International Commodities, which was sanctioned by the US in 1986, is registered as a “non-trading company” and earned no revenues since 2015, according to its latest disclosures.

Unlike the US, the UK and EU do not have sanctions regimes in place for Cuban trade, with the UK government noting that Washington has “imposed extraterritorial fines on some companies in third countries that have done business with Cuba.” The UK government stresses that its law “makes it illegal for UK based companies to comply with extraterritorial legislation,” including the US embargo on Cuba.

Kharon research

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