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Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act

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Acronyms (colloquial)

December 3, 1999

Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act

Other short titles
Department of Energy Sensitive Country Foreign Visitors Moratorium Act International Narcotics Trafficking Act Kingpin Act

Long title
An Act to provide for the imposition of economic sanctions on certain foreign persons engaging in, or otherwise involved in, international narcotics trafficking.

Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000

Enacted by
the 106th United States Congress

The Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, also known as the Kingpin Act, became law by the enactment of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000. The U.S. international narcotics trafficking bill was introduced in the United States House of Representatives as H.R. 3164 on October 28, 1999. The Kingpin Act legislation passed by a margin of three hundred and eighty-five to twenty-six (Roll call vote 555, via Clerk.House.gov) in the United States House of Representatives on November 2, 1999.


The H.R. 1555 Act of Congress was passed by the 106th U.S. Congressional session and enacted into law by the 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton on December 3, 1999.

Purpose of Act

According to the White House, "Its purpose is to deny significant foreign narcotics traffickers, their related businesses, and their operatives access to the U.S. financial system and to prohibit all trade and transactions between the traffickers and U.S. companies and individuals. The Kingpin Act authorizes the President to take these actions when he determines that a foreign person plays a significant role in international narcotics trafficking. Congress modeled the Kingpin Act on the effective sanctions program that the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") administers against the Colombian drug cartels pursuant to Executive Order 12978 issued in October 1995 ("Executive Order 12978") under authority of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act ("IEEPA")."

Enforcement of act

The New York Times has said that the act has been used for the US to pursue dozens of criminal organizations involved in narcotics across the world. It also wrote that, "The act allows the Treasury Department to freeze any assets of the cartels found in United States jurisdictions and to prosecute Americans who help the cartels handle their money."

On October 7, 2015 the Honduran bank Banco Continental became the first time it had been used against a bank outside the United States.

Issuance of a Finding of Violation to BBVA Compass. On 7/27/2016, the OFAC issued a Finding of Violation to Compass Bank, which uses the trade name BBVA Compass (“Compass”), for violations of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 598 (FNKSR). Due to a technical error with certain filtering software, Compass unknowingly maintained accounts on behalf of two individuals on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (the “SDN List”). Although OFAC found Compass to be technically in violation, no transactions occurred from the accounts during the time the individuals were on the SDN list.


Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act Wikipedia

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