OFAC: “Treasury Targets Honduran Drug Trafficking Organization and Its Network”

August 25, 2014

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on August 20, 2014 released the following:

Los Valles Organization Targeted for OFAC Sanctions

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced the designation of the Los Valles drug trafficking organization in Honduras and Honduran national Miguel Arnulfo Valle Valle as significant foreign narcotics traffickers pursuant to the Kingpin Act. Today’s action also targets Luis Alonso and Jose Reynerio Valle Valle, who materially assist and act for and on behalf of their brother Miguel Arnulfo Valle Valle and the Los Valles drug trafficking organization. Treasury also sanctioned four Honduran businesses tied to the Valle Valle brothers. Today’s action prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these designees, and also freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

The Los Valles drug trafficking organization is one of the most prolific Central American narcotics trafficking organizations. The group, led by Miguel Arnulfo Valle Valle, is responsible for the distribution of tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine per month directly into the United States. The Los Valles organization employs a combination of brutal violence and public corruption in order to keep a stronghold on their base of operations in Copan, Honduras. Miguel Arnulfo Valle Valle, Luis Alonso Valle Valle, and Jose Reynerio Valle Valle operate their criminal organization as a close-knit family business and launder their narcotics proceeds via a network of companies, including three coffee production companies in Honduras, Inversiones Yosary, Inversiones Luisito, and Inversiones Valle. They also own a cattle and milk production business named Finca Los Tres Reyes. All four of these Honduran businesses were designated today by Treasury.

Earlier this week on August 17, Honduran authorities embarked on an asset seizure operation against more than 40 properties belonging to the Los Valles drug trafficking organization. This operation comes on the heels of the July 2014 arrest in the United States of Digna Valle Valle, the sister of the Valle Valle brothers, on U.S. federal drug charges.

“Today’s designation, coupled with the actions taken by the Honduran government early this week, is another example of our continued coordinated effort to dismantle this illicit organization,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. “OFAC stands with the Honduran authorities to combat the drug trafficking threat and protect the U.S. financial system from their illicit proceeds.”

Today’s action would not have been possible without the support of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Federal Bureau of Investigation. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Joint Field Command-Arizona and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security also provided support for this designation.

Since June 2000 more than 1600 individuals and entities have been named pursuant to the Kingpin Act for their role in international narcotics trafficking. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals face up to 10 years in prison and fines for criminal violation of the Kingpin Act pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code.

View a chart of the Los Valles network.”

————————————————————–

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 defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


“FBI searches ex-Reagan aide Robert McFarlane’s apartment for evidence he lobbied for Sudan”

March 22, 2013

The Washington Post on March 21, 2013 released the following:

“By Associated Press,

WASHINGTON — The FBI has searched the apartment of former Reagan administration national security adviser Robert McFarlane for evidence of whether he lobbied on behalf of the government of Sudan in violation of federal law.

A search warrant on file in U.S. District Court in Washington shows agents seized items this month including handwritten notes about Sudan and White House documents with classification markings up to Top Secret.

It is against the law for Americans to do business with Sudan because of its alleged support for international terrorism and human rights violations, among other things. Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, has been charged by the International Criminal Court with genocide and other crimes during the deadly conflict in Sudan’s western Darfur region.

In an accompanying affidavit, FBI agent Grayden R. Ridd cited a host of emails between McFarlane and Sudanese government officials obtained prior to the search.

“I believe that these emails are evidence that McFarlane was entering into an agreement with the government of Sudan to lobby the U.S. government officials on behalf of Sudan and to provide it advice during negotiations with the United States,” Ridd wrote. He said he believed the emails are also evidence of an attempt by McFarlane and a Sudanese government official “to hide McFarlane’s relationship with Sudan by construing the agreement to make it appear that his contractual relationship was with Qatar, when in fact it was not.”

The affidavit said that the FBI investigation has established that in February 2009, McFarlane entered into a one-year agreement with the government of Sudan to act as its consultant and to lobby the U.S. government on its behalf.

Ridd wrote that the source of the emails to McFarlane appeared to be someone from the Sudanese intelligence service.

The affidavit is listed as “under seal” but is viewable online.

The FBI is also investigating whether McFarlane violated a law that requires anyone working as a foreign agent of another country to disclose that to the Foreign Agent Registration Act Unit of the Justice Department.

The investigation into McFarlane was first reported by The Washington Post.

McFarlane has not been charged with a crime. The case is being handled by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia. A spokesman for the office, Peter Carr, said McFarlane is cooperating with the ongoing investigation and, through his counsel, has asserted his innocence.

McFarlane’s lawyer, Barry Levine, did not immediately return telephone and email messages Thursday. Levine told The Post that McFarlane didn’t violate any laws.

“He has devoted his entire adult life to the interests of this country, and he cares deeply about the people of Darfur,” Levine told the newspaper.”

Affidavit may be found here

————————————————————–

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 defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


Regulator Says British Bank Helped Iran Hide Deals

August 7, 2012

The New York Times on August 6, 2012 released the following:

“By JESSICA SILVER-GREENBERG

Using its New York-based operations, a major British bank schemed with the Iranian government for nearly a decade to launder $250 billion, leaving the United States financial system vulnerable to terrorists and corrupt regimes, New York’s top banking regulator charged on Monday.

The New York State Department of Financial Services accused Standard Chartered, which the agency called a “rogue institution,” of masking more than 60,000 transactions for Iranian banks and corporations, motivated by the millions of dollars it reaped in fees.

Senior management at the 150-year-old bank used the New York branch “as a front for prohibited dealings with Iran — dealings that indisputably helped sustain a global threat to peace and stability,” according to a regulatory order sent to the bank. The order requires the bank to explain the apparent violations of law in a hearing later this month and justify why its license to operate in New York shouldn’t be revoked.

The bank said Monday night that it “strongly rejects the position and portrayal of facts” by the agency.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said that it had an open investigation into money laundering at Standard Chartered. In the order, regulators paint a vivid picture of a cover-up that included the code name “Project Gazelle,” money flowing to Iran’s central bank, United States executives warning of “criminal liability,” and a manual that taught employees how to automate the masking of a rising number of illegal transactions.

The accusations against Standard Chartered come as United States officials work to crack down on the flow of money to foreign countries, companies and individuals connected to terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and drug trafficking.

Beyond the dealings with Iran, the banking regulator said it had discovered evidence that Standard Chartered operated “similar schemes” to do business with other countries under United States sanctions, including Myanmar (formerly Burma), Libya and Sudan.

Earlier Monday, a spokesman for Standard Chartered said the bank was reviewing its “historical U.S. sanctions compliance and is discussing that review with U.S. enforcement agencies and regulators.”

But the order accuses senior executives at the bank of suppressing complaints. For example, in 2006, according to the order, the bank’s chief executive for the Americas wrote his bosses in London that the transactions had “the potential to cause very serious or even catastrophic reputational damage to the group.”

According to the order, the response was hostile, denigrated Americans and asked: “Who are you to tell us, the rest of the world, that we’re not going to deal with Iranians.” The department of financial services, led by superintendent Benjamin M. Lawsky, said it was “impossible to know” how much of the money might have been used by Iran to finance its nuclear program or to support terrorist organizations.

Mr. Lawsky said that the department, which examined more than 30,000 internal memos, e-mails and other documents in its nine-month investigation, will hold hearings to determine any financial penalty.

Standard Chartered is the latest in a series of global banks to be accused of facilitating illegal flows of money from outside the United States. In July, a Senate panel issued a report that accused HSBC of being used by Mexican drug cartels to funnel cash back into the United States, by Saudi Arabian banks with terrorist ties that needed access to dollars and by Iranians who wanted to circumvent United States sanctions.

In June, the Justice Department and the New York County district attorney’s office reached a $619 million settlement with ING Bank over accusations that it had illegally moved billions of dollars into the United States for sanctioned Cuban and Iranian entities.

The “apparent fraudulent and deceptive conduct” by Standard Chartered occurred from 2001 to 2010, the order said, and was particularly “egregious,” because some of the transactions were being processed even as the bank was under formal oversight by New York banking regulators from 2004 to 2007.

Standard Chartered, which is based in London, relies for most of its profit on business in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Before 2008, the federal government permitted money to be transferred through the United States from one non-American based entity to another, but only after being thoroughly vetted to detect suspicious activity. In so-called U-turn transactions, a foreign institution routes money to a bank in the United States, which transfers the money immediately to a separate foreign institution.

Suspecting that Iran was using its banks — including the Central Bank of Iran/Markazi, Bank Saderat and Bank Melli — to finance nuclear weapons and missile programs, the policy toward Iran changed and the transactions were banned entirely in 2008.

The order on Monday cited those Iranian state-owned banks as clients of Standard Chartered.

Standard Chartered disputed the accusations and said that “well over 99.9 percent of the transactions relating to Iran complied with the U-turn regulations.” Those that did not comply amounted to less than $14 million, the bank said.

The bank said in its statement late Monday that it had kept federal and state authorities apprised of the review it initiated in 2010. It said that it “did not identify a single payment” connected to a terrorist entity or organization and that it had “ceased all new business with Iranian customers” five years ago.

The apparent illegal activity stretched back to 1995 after President Bill Clinton levied sanctions against Iran. At the time, the general counsel of Standard Chartered e-mailed the bank’s chief compliance officer a plan to ignore regulations imposed by a division of the Treasury Department, according to the order.

In the e-mails included in the order, the executives said a memo containing the plan “MUST NOT be sent to the U.S.,” to prevent prosecution.

That strategy of flouting the United States law was commonplace by 2001, Mr. Lawsky said. An e-mail from a lawyer to bank executives in 2001 said that payment instructions for Iranian clients “should not identify the client or the purpose of the payment.”

One Iranian client, for example, was told to use “NO NAME GIVEN” in paperwork to transfer money, the order said. That way, the money transfer could escape scrutiny and “not appear to N.Y. to have come from an Iranian bank,” a 2003 e-mail from a Standard Chartered official said.

In a strategy called Project Gazelle, the bank devised to forge “new relationships with Iranian companies” and intermediaries “in oil- and gas- related businesses,” a memo from 2005 included in the order said.

The bank’s management created a formal operating manual called “Quality Operating Procedure Iranian Bank Processing,” that showed staff members how to strip off information that might tie them to the sanctioned Iranian institutions.

The bank came under scrutiny from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 2003 after regulators discovered deficiencies in monitoring its transactions.

As a result, the bank entered a formal agreement with regulators that it strengthen its oversight and bring in an independent consultant to inspect transactions from July 2002 to October 2004.

Even the independent monitoring, by Deloitte & Touche, was perverted, according to Mr. Lawsky. In 2005, at the behest of the bank, Deloitte agreed to omit critical transactions from its report to regulators. “This is too much and too politically sensitive for both SCB and Deloitte. That is why I drafted the watered-down version,” a Deloitte executive said in a 2005 e-mail in the order.

Deloitte denies it aided the bank. The consultant “performed its role as independent consultant properly and had no knowledge of any alleged misconduct by bank employees,” Jonathan Gandal, a Deloitte spokesman said in a statement. “Allegations otherwise are unsupported by the facts.” In its last examination of the bank, in 2011, the state’s Department of Financial Services said it had found “continuing and significant” failures in complying with bank secrecy and money laundering laws.”

————————————————————–

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 defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email:


Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficking Kingpin [SDNTK] Entries Added to OFAC’s SDN List on June 20, 2012

July 12, 2012

On June 20, 2012, OFAC has added [SDNTK] Entries to the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN List):

The following [SDNTK] entries have been added to OFAC’s SDN list:

BARAKZAI, Shah Mohammad; DOB 01 Jan 1979; POB Nava, Lash Kargah, Afghanistan; nationality Afghanistan (individual) [SDNTK] Linked To: New AHMADI LTD..

DOCTOR (a.k.a. HADI, Abdul); DOB 01 Oct 1979; POB Nawzad District of Helmand Province; citizen Afghanistan (individual) [SDNTK].

HADI, Abdul (a.k.a. “DOCTOR”); DOB 01 Oct 1979; POB Nawzad District of Helmand Province; citizen Afghanistan (individual) [SDNTK].

MOHAMMAD WALI MONEY EXCHANGE (a.k.a. NEW AHMADY LTD. KANDAHAR), Sarafi Market, Fourth Floor, Shop #1, Kandahar, Afghanistan [SDNTK].

MOHAMMAD, Haji Baz; DOB 12 Mar 1964; citizen Afghanistan (individual) [SDNTK].

NEW AHMADI COMPANY LTD (a.k.a. NEW AHMADI LTD.; a.k.a. NEW AHMADY LTD), Sarafi Market, Shop 48/49, Gereshk, Gereshk, Helmand, Afghanistan [SDNTK].

NEW AHMADI LTD. (a.k.a. NEW AHMADI COMPANY LTD; a.k.a. NEW AHMADY LTD), Sarafi Market, Shop 48/49, Gereshk, Gereshk, Helmand, Afghanistan [SDNTK].

NEW AHMADY LTD (a.k.a. NEW AHMADI COMPANY LTD; a.k.a. NEW AHMADI LTD.), Sarafi Market, Shop 48/49, Gereshk, Gereshk, Helmand, Afghanistan [SDNTK].

NEW AHMADY LTD. KANDAHAR (a.k.a. MOHAMMAD WALI MONEY EXCHANGE), Sarafi Market, Fourth Floor, Shop #1, Kandahar, Afghanistan [SDNTK].

WALI, Mohammad; DOB 02 Dec 1975; alt. DOB 02 Oct 1975; citizen Afghanistan (individual) [SDNTK] Linked To: MOHAMMAD WALI MONEY EXCHANGE.

————————————————————–

Treasury Sanctions Afghan Narcotics Trafficking Network

6/20/2012
​Action Targets Barakzai Network Including Affiliated Money Exchange Houses

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated Shah Mohammad Barakzai and Haji Baz Mohammad for their significant roles in international narcotics trafficking, as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). Treasury also designated under the Kingpin Act two other individuals and two entities located in Afghanistan for their support to Shah Mohammad Barakzai and his organization. Barakzai was arrested and sentenced for operating as a narcotics trafficker in Afghanistan in 2011 by Afghan counter narcotics authorities. Today’s action targets Barakzai’s network and its illicit financial activity. The Kingpin Act prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these individuals and entities, and it freezes any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

“Today’s designation builds on Afghan efforts to disrupt heroin trafficking from Afghanistan,” said OFAC Director Adam Szubin. “We will continue to work to expose the support mechanisms for this illicit activity, by targeting the individuals involved and their affiliated businesses and financial networks, including exchange houses.”

Barakzai is the head of a drug trafficking organization based in Gereshk, Afghanistan.
In addition to Barakzai, who has been convicted and sentenced in Afghanistan for operating as a narcotics trafficker, Treasury is also naming the following drug trafficking associates of Barakzai: Abdul “Doctor” Hadi, who used his pharmaceutical background to process opium for Barakzai’s network; Haji Baz Mohammad, who controls opium cultivation and transportation for the network; and Mohammad Wali, who served as the main financial conduit for the network in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Also named as part of the network are two exchange houses used by Barakzai’s organization. They include Barakzai’s exchange house, New Ahmadi Ltd., and the Mohammad Wali Money Exchange controlled by his associate Mohammad Wali.

The investigation that led to these designations was the result of collaborative efforts of Treasury, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Terrorist Financing Operation Section and the Afghan Threat Finance Cell (ATFC). The ATFC is a tactically-focused, interagency fusion center in Afghanistan that collects, analyzes and disseminates relevant financial intelligence on individuals and organizations involved in financing the Afghan insurgency.

Today’s action is part of Treasury’s ongoing efforts to use the Kingpin Act to target the financial and support networks of narcotics traffickers worldwide. Internationally, the Treasury Department has designated more than 1,100 businesses and individuals linked to drug kingpins since June 2000. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation to serious criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.”

————————————————————–

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 defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email: