Viktor Bout associates exploited flaws in international law, UN study finds

July 18, 2012

The Guardian on July 17, 2012 released the following:

“Two of the convicted arms dealer’s lieutenants nearly set up fresh gunrunning ring despite being under government watch

[By] Karen McVeigh in New York

Former associates of convicted international arms dealer Viktor Bout exploited loopholes to set up a global trafficking ring with their sights set on selling weapons to war-torn countries like Sudan, Somalia, Iran and possibly Syria, an investigation has revealed.

The report, by Kathi Lynn Austin, a former UN arms investigator and executive director of Conflict Awareness Project (Cap) shows how close two of Bout’s lieutenants came to establishing a fresh gunrunning network in the wake of his conviction last year, despite being under US government watch or subject to US sanctions.

At a press conference on Tuesday at the UN in New York, where representatives from 190 countries are midway through negotiations over the first Arms Trade Treaty, Austin said: “These brokers go to extreme lengths to reap profits form conflict, atrocity and UN sanctions-busting. As we speak, gunrunners are out there exploiting every loophole in a global arms trade that is out of control.”

The six-week investigation describes how “classic techniques” of illicit arms brokers were used including flags of convenience, money laundering and establishing multiple layers of “shell companies” to evade detection and accountability.

The investigation also uncovered new techniques, including a switch away from a previous reliance on aging Russian aircraft to predominately western passenger planes.

The men at the heart of the investigation are two Russians, Sergei Denisenko and Andrei Kosolapov, former associates of Bout, whose gunrunning networks enabled the flow of arms into African conflict including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, and Sudan.

It shows how, even with Bout in prison and US sanctions against them, they were able to circumvent laws and set up US business partners. Denisenko is on the US Special Designated Nationals (SDN) List enforced by the department of treasury, because of his past trafficking activities in Liberia, according to the report.

His SDN listing prohibits US companied dealing with him. Kosolapov is on the US Visas Viper list, a watch list used internationally by the state department to track known or suspected terrorists, according to the report titled Viktor Bout’s Gunrunning Sucessors: A Lethal Game of Catch Me if you Can.

Their plan was to lease a US-registered plane that could be used for arms transfers while flying under a Mauritian aviation certificate.

The report found that the Denisenko-Kosolapov partnership engaged a number of subcompanies and business partners including US, UK, Finnish and Mauritian companies.

One aircraft was located in Bangor, Maine. Human rights advocacy group Human Rights First said the report demonstrated gaps in implementation and enforcement of US sanction regimes.

Sadia Hameed, of Human Rights First, said: “Countries that may have more robust regulations, like the United States, are still unable to singlehandedly prevent illicit arms trafficking operations.”

She said more could have been done by the US to share information with their embassy in Mauritius about Denisenkio and Kosolapov and that it should do more to ensure SDN guidelines are followed by US companies.

“The fact that through Kathi Lynn Austin’s investigations she was able to uncover that they very nearly aquired a US-registered plane and that that plane was intended to service whatever the forward activities of the network were, points out gaps in due diligence of sanctions.”

A US company illegally provided parts and maintenance for the aircraft leased by the pair, according to the report and US pilots were lined up to fly it, which is also illegal.

In early July, the Mauritius Department of Civil Aviation denied the Denisenko-Kosalopov operations application for an Air Operation Certificate – which any plane needs to be able to fly, effectively stopping the operation.

“The multi-jurisdictional nature of arms trafficking rings is why we need a strong arms control, “said Austin. “The Mauritian government said, ‘How were we to know that this US individual was on a designated list?’ A strong arms control treaty would identify who the criminals are and who the traders are.”

In a statement, a spokesman for the US treasury department said: “Sergei (or Serguei) Denissenko was sanctioned by OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) for being involved in two of Bout’s front companies – San Air General Trading FZE (Ajman, UAE; Richardson, Texas) and also with Centrafricain Airlines. US firms are prohibited from doing business with him as with any other sanctioned parties. OFAC does not have an Andrei Kosolapov on its SDN list.”

Campaigners for arms control expressed concern that, after an opening week characterised by delays, international delegates still do not have the basis for negotiations on most of the key elements of the treaty. The optimistic view is that there will be a negotiating text by Wednesday.

The Arms Trade Treaty faces opposition from Egypt, Syria, Algeria, Iran, Cuba and North Korea. However, Russia, China, the UK, France and the US have issued some joint statements in support. The US would like to see ammunition removed from the treaty and wants to water down the rule on human rights.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
OFAC SDN Removal Videos:

OFAC Litigation – SDN List Removal

OFAC SDN List Removal

OFAC SDN Removal Attorneys

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Local charity reaches deal to be removed from terrorist list

May 1, 2012

ToledoBlade.com on May 1, 2012 released the following:

“A West Toledo charity that recently shut its doors following a years-long legal battle with the U.S. Department of Treasury announced today that the parties have reached a settlement agreement that includes removing KindHearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development Inc. from a list of federally designated terrorist organizations.

The Muslim charity filed suit in U.S. District Court in Toledo against the government in October, 2008, challenging the designation and requesting that the freeze order on the organization’s assets be vacated.

According to a three-page settlement released today, the parties “mutually desire to resolves all the claims” without further legal action or admission of liability or wrongdoing by either party.

Listed as one of the conditions is that “all funds and assets owned by KindHearts will be expended, pursuant to licenses by the Office of Foreign Assets Control to cover KindHearts’ outstanding financial obligations and as grants for charitable purposes to charitable organizations.”

Earlier this year, KindHearts published a notice saying that it had officially dissolved. The nonprofit organization was incorporated in January, 2002, to provide humanitarian aid without regard to religion or political affiliation.

According to the agreement, KindHearts agrees to remain closed once its assets are fully allocated.

The settlement involves 13 points.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
OFAC SDN Removal Videos:

OFAC Litigation – SDN List Removal

OFAC SDN List Removal

OFAC SDN Removal Attorneys

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call: mcnabb.mcnabbassociates

           Office Locations

Email:


OFAC SDN List – Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa

February 23, 2011

Douglas McNabb discusses the placement of Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa on the OFAC SDN List. He also discusses whether OFAC SDN List Removal is a possibility.

Cifuentes Villa Drug Trafficking Organization – People
Cifuentes Villa Drug Trafficking Organization – Entities

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OFAC SDNTK – Foreign Narcotics Kingpin List

February 18, 2011

New Ansari Network

Douglas McNabb discussed today’s OFAC designation of Afghanistan and U.A.E. individuals and businesses.

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9 Individuals and 7 Entities Designated by OFAC

February 18, 2011

New Ansari Network

As of today, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated 9 individuals and 7 entities on the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN List). Placement on the SDN List acts as a freeze on any U.S. financial assets the individuals or entities may have. More significantly, if the individuals or entities have assets in a U.S. foreign correspondent bank (a foreign bank with financial ties to the U.S.), those assets are frozen as well.

An SDN designation is the means by which the U.S. government uses to block individuals or entities from accessing any funds that may conceivably enter, or already exist, in the U.S. financial system. Further, those under U.S. jurisdiction, such as a person or corporation, are forbidden from engaging in any transaction with those designated.

The individuals and entities today were designated under “SDNTK.” Meaning, OFAC believes they are involved in narcotics dealings and has designated them under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. OFAC may also designate alleged narcotics traffickers under Executive Order 12978, however those designations target individuals and entities from Columbia. If designated under Order 12978, the individual or entity will be designated under “SDNT.”

The individuals designated as of today include:

AZIMI, Haji Mohammad Rafi (a.k.a. AZIMI, Haji Muhammad Rafi; a.k.a. RAFI, Abdul);

BARAKZAI ANSARI, Haji Abdullah (a.k.a. ANSARI, Haji Abdullah; a.k.a. BARAKZAI, Haji Abdullah);

HAJI ABDUL QAYOUM, Eissa Jan (a.k.a. HAJI ABDUL QAYOUM, Eisa Jan; a.k.a. HAJI ABDUL QAYOUM, Eisa Jon);

HAKIMI, Ahmad Shah;

JAN, Haji Mohammad (a.k.a. BIN KUL MOHAMMED, Mohammad Jan);

KHAN, Haji Mohammad;

MOHAMMAD AFZAL, Rahmatullah;

NOOR, Haji Mohammad (a.k.a. MOHAMED KOL, Mohammed Noor; a.k.a. MOHAMMED KUL, Mohammed Nour);

NOORULLAH, Haji;

The following entities have been added to the SDN List as of today:

AHMAD SHAH MONEY EXCHANGE (a.k.a. AHMAD SHAH HAKIMI MONEY EXCHANGE; a.k.a. HAKIMI MONEY EXCHANGE; a.k.a. SHAH HAKIMI MONEY EXCHANGE) (Afghanistan);

AL ADAL EXCHANGE (United Arab Emirates);

CONNECT TELECOM GENERAL TRADING LLC (United Arab Emirates);

GREEN LEAF GENERAL TRADING LLC (f.k.a. GREEN LEAF TRADING LLC) (United Arab Emirates);

MUSHTAQ SHAHEEN CONSTRUCTION AND ROADMAKING COMPANY (a.k.a. MUSHTAQ SHAHEEN LTD) (Afghanistan);

NEW ANSARI LTD (Afghanistan);

NEW ANSARI MONEY EXCHANGE (a.k.a. NAWI ANSARI LTD; a.k.a. NEW ANSARI COMPANY; a.k.a. NEW ANSARI MONEY SERVICES PROVIDER) (Afghanistan).

View OFAC’s press release here.

Removal from the SDN List is possible, but it requires complex litigation and may take several years.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Litigation, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Litigation.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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