The Letters - Update December 21, 2008

garvey

New Member
Well, I received empty packaging and a little 3x5 slip of paper. Waiting on the letter now. I don't know who sent me the package, or what the contents were -- there were no markings or return address. Hmmmm.

Not sure if I should be scared or what....
 

jepe

New Member
Well, I received empty packaging and a little 3x5 slip of paper. Waiting on the letter now. I don't know who sent me the package, or what the contents were -- there were no markings or return address. Hmmmm.

Not sure if I should be scared or what....

Man sorry to hear that.
You're saying you didn't ordered anything and you suddenly received the letter?
That is weird.
Maybe someone sent you a gift.
 

mmburtch

Sleep deprived and cranky
Well, I received empty packaging and a little 3x5 slip of paper. Waiting on the letter now. I don't know who sent me the package, or what the contents were -- there were no markings or return address. Hmmmm.

Not sure if I should be scared or what....
Local or international postage?
 

flamchop

65/65
Well, I received empty packaging and a little 3x5 slip of paper. Waiting on the letter now. I don't know who sent me the package, or what the contents were -- there were no markings or return address. Hmmmm.

Not sure if I should be scared or what....

That sucks. Hopefully nothing comes of it.


Edited for clarification :)
 

flamchop

65/65
Well, I received empty packaging and a little 3x5 slip of paper. Waiting on the letter now. I don't know who sent me the package, or what the contents were -- there were no markings or return address. Hmmmm.

Not sure if I should be scared or what....
I also received similar packaging and the same slip of paper today.
 

BigJake6904

Fat Texan
Well, I received empty packaging and a little 3x5 slip of paper. Waiting on the letter now. I don't know who sent me the package, or what the contents were -- there were no markings or return address. Hmmmm.

Not sure if I should be scared or what....
I also received similar packaging and the same slip of paper today... and just like you I have no idea who would send me this package or what the contents were. No markings, etc. Looks like I'm also waiting for the letter.
Was this a USPS Priority box?
 

alexgtp

newbie extrodinaire!!
Recently I saw a letter and an empty package from U.S Customs. Dated sometime in Late January. Looks like they still are seizing packages from overseas.
 

Fia

Member
Well, I received empty packaging and a little 3x5 slip of paper. Waiting on the letter now. I don't know who sent me the package, or what the contents were -- there were no markings or return address. Hmmmm.

Not sure if I should be scared or what....
I also received similar packaging and the same slip of paper today.
Is this someone just playing a practical joke? ???
 

cozy

New Member
Reports are coming in of a new letter being sent out by OFAC. Titled "CAUTIONARY LETTER," this document suggests that perhaps, just perhaps, the prosecution of Trading with the Enemy Act: Helms-Burton, Cuban Assets Control Regulations, is being deprioritized. Why is this happening now? One might speculate that the incoming Obama administration's softened stance on interactions with Cuba might be at the heart of it. Perhaps it's the worldwide economic meltdown that's drawing their attentions to other more important issues. Could be any one of a number of other factors or several of these in concert.

In any case, the wording of the letter suggests that ongoing enforcement actions are being summarily terminated.

The timeline leading up to this particular letter began in the first two months of this year with the receipt of an "R" Letter or Requirement to Furnish Information. Of the three interdiction letters that have been sent out (R, W, C), this was the worst in that it made a formal request for the accused to report what they purchased as well as any and all financial records related to said purchase. It also identified the world region from which the goods were allegedly purchased, which in this case, was a special administrative region in the Far East.

The individual responded by saying that he had no knowledge of this transaction and thus had no records.

Then at mid-year, OFAC issued a “Prepenalty Notice.” In this letter, OFAC detailed precisely the goods (right down to the marca, vitola, and number of sticks in the box) and time frame the alleged purchase of Cuban goods occurred. At this point, other folks hit with these letters have actually called the number on the letter and copped to being a total stupid-head for trying to order those bad, godless commie cigars. They were then given advice with respect to making a counteroffer against the proposed civil fine including what mitigating circumstances might result in reduction of the penalty. This typically resulted in a reduction or elimination of the fine. Those who ignored the Prepenalty Notice were typically hit with a fine up to the full amount of the original penalty.



I’ve been going over the information that has been collected over the nearly two years that this thread has been active. While it may still be too early to say for sure, I do hope that this Cautionary Letter signals a turning point in the actions and priorities of the OFAC away from less frivolous and toward more pressing concerns. For example, the export of prohibited technology to unfriendly states.

I’m now also of the opinion that the largest Far East retailer, that suddenly found itself in the eye of the storm, need not have turned over one iota of information to anyone for this persecution to have happened. All fingers point to at least one of the major credit card companies and, more critically, one online payment processor (no longer being used by any reputable vendor of which I’m aware) as being fully necessary and sufficient for OFAC to have obtained any and all records necessary to initiate these enforcement actions.

It is deplorable that this retailer has been made to suffer. As one of the very few vendors with an unsullied reputation, the damage sustained was not only undeserved but also unjust.

To all my Habanos-loving brothers and sisters out there, I’d ask that you let me know if you hear anything further about these new letters. I have reports from various regions of the online world but as this might signal a significant change in the environment surrounding OFAC’s policy on enforcement of the Embargo, the more timely information we can gather and integrate, the quicker we will be able to come to a more accurate conclusion.

Wilkey
Strange that OFAC would have so much info that I didn't know my cc company would know. Wouldn't the cc company just have the total charge and name of the business?
 

flamchop

65/65
Received the actual "letter." Seems to be in line with the letter others have received after getting the small slip of paper in empty packaging.
 

Rod

Administrator
Staff member
I don't see how they could do anything to you especially if you didn't order contraband. Seems very odd.
 

Van55

New Member
I have been shown a Department of Treasury OFAC "Cautionary Letter" dated in early June of this year. It alleges that the recipient sent a PayPal payment of just over $100.00 to an agent of a Swiss vendor, allegedly to purchase Cuban cigars.

This is the first confirmed report that I know of that alleges a purchase from a vendor outside of Hong Kong. It also indicates that OFAC has not lost interest despite the new administration's public easing of the restrictions on dealings with Cuba.
 

Strayvector

Like what you smoke, smoke what you like
I have been shown a Department of Treasury OFAC "Cautionary Letter" dated in early June of this year. It alleges that the recipient sent a PayPal payment of just over $100.00 to an agent of a Swiss vendor, allegedly to purchase Cuban cigars.

This is the first confirmed report that I know of that alleges a purchase from a vendor outside of Hong Kong. It also indicates that OFAC has not lost interest despite the new administration's public easing of the restrictions on dealings with Cuba.
Another reason to not use PayPal.
 

Marty

New Member
This is the first confirmed report that I know of that alleges a purchase from a vendor outside of Hong Kong. It also indicates that OFAC has not lost interest despite the new administration's public easing of the restrictions on dealings with Cuba.
Indeed! And the beat goes on til this very day.
 
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