We were approached by a man who wanted to sell automobiles and heavy equipment to Burma (Myanmar) for cash that some relative would collect. He said – Burma (Myanmar) is now OK, Hillary Clinton was just there. We can buy the cars for cash here in the US and ship them over where they can be sold for cash.
We don’t need titles or export documents – it’s a simple deal – and we get the cash back in USD or in Euro and we can fly over and pick it up or we can meet the cash in Singapore. I am also certain if he does this he will be successful – for a period of time. But I did that the time to point out a few things.
• There are no $3,000 cars running – need to spend abut 7 to 10 to get good used cars.
• You must have a clear title to export a car – US rules.
• As a US Citizen, we (as well as other US based parties to such transactions should they occur) are subject to OFAC sanctions program requirements concerning what we can and cannot do as far as transactions with financial institutions located in Burma (Myanmar).
• Car and car part exporting has been utilized as a way to launder cash for Hezbollah (refer to video located at: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=l3-OxZlFLdU) .
• Who are the counter parties to this transaction again – an uncle in a cash for car lot in Rangoon?
While an array of business circumstances involving Myanmar appears to be on track for improvement, and US sanctions against the current regime may well be lifted in the future, they are still in place today. In the end, the prospective client was utterly un-coachable and would listen to none of the precautions suggested for their consideration.
Needless to say, we did not proceed with this prospective client. This is where one not only walks away, one runs away and writes a memo to file, and gets it date stamped and notarized and puts in the file to cover one’s behind.