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Venezuelan court upholds $7.75M fine against Banesco

Venezuela's Supreme Court ordered the freezing of assets held by Banesco Banco Universal CA worth US$7.75 million corresponding to a fine against the bank for allegedly breaking a municipal contract in the state of Zulia.

In its Dec. 15 decision, the Supreme Court upheld a 2015 constitutional court ruling enforcing the fine, which had been appealed by the bank, and declared the bank's requests to overturn the ruling "inadmissible."

Banesco reportedly said in a statement Dec. 20 that it will pay the full amount of the fine.

The dispute stems from 2008 when the municipality of San Francisco in Zulia sued Banesco for allegedly mismanaging public funds to be used for the purchase of garbage trucks in the city of Maracaibo.

The court has also ordered the Comptroller General to "take measures" to ensure the bank's clients are not affected by the asset seizure.