“Treasury identifies dangerous Mexican cartel bosses”

May 7, 2013

TheHill.com on May 7, 2013 released the following:

By Megan R. Wilson

“The Treasury Department on Tuesday said it has identified eight key members of a Mexican drug cartel after a yearlong investigation, setting off a chain reaction of enforcement measures.

Pinpointing and calling out plaza bosses of the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel is an “important” victory, federal officials said on Tuesday, but they say actions are only beginning.

The eight men are strategically located along a 375-mile stretch of the Arizona-Mexico border and act as gatekeepers for drugs and other illegal goods smuggled into or out of the United States.

In order of their outpost from west to east, the men are: Cenobio Flores Pacheco, Armando Lopez Aispuro, Guillermo Nieblas Nava, Raul Sabori Cisneros, Ramon Ignacio Paez Soto, Felipe De Jesus Sosa Canisales, Jesus Alfredo Salazar Ramirez and Jose Javier Rascon Ramirez – most of them also have aliases.

They depend on violence and hit men to keep power in their designated area, according to the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), the agency tasked with enforcing financial sanctions on named terrorists and drug smugglers.

The DEA, OFAC and the Customs and Border Protection worked together with the Mexican government to compile evidence against the men, said OFAC Director Adam Szubin.

By bringing out these “pretty serious players,” Szubin said in a call with reporters, law enforcement will begin to see “follow-on” effects, including people being more aware of the individuals, denying them access to formal banking processes – and hopefully, arrests and fines.

“In order to put organizations like the Sinaloa Cartel out of business, we must continue to utilize every tool available to ensure that these criminal groups and their associates cannot exploit the U.S. financial system,” said Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) special agent in charge, Doug Coleman.

The actions come on the heels of President Obama’s trip to Mexico, and members of law enforcement, Treasury and immigration agencies thanked authorities south of the border for helping with the investigations.

Special Agent Carl Pike, with the Drug Enforcement Agency, said the Sinaloa Cartel is the oldest and most established in Mexico. As other cartels are growing weaker because of in-house fighting, Sinaloa is only growing stronger, he said.

This is the fifteenth sanctioning action Treasury has taken against members of the cartel, or shell corporations it uses to launder money, since last January.

Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera, and Ismael “Mayo” Zambada Garcia run the organized crime and drug trafficking organization, which is named after the region in Mexico where it was formed.

The Sinaloa Cartel controls 80 percent of the methamphetamine trade in the U.S., Mexico and Asia, according to a report released by Mexican researchers last month. It also deals cocaine, marijuana and opiates.

Since June 2000, more than 95 individuals have been identified as drug kingpins and OFAC designated more than 1,200 businesses and individuals. Civil penalties for violating the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act are upwards of $1 million per violation, with even stricter criminal charges – upwards of $5 million to $10 million in fines, and up to 30 years in prison.”

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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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U.S. Seems Set to Brand Militant Group as ‘Terrorist’

September 1, 2012

The New York Times on August 31, 2012 released the following:

“By ERIC SCHMITT

WASHINGTON — Risking a new breach in relations with Pakistan, the Obama administration is leaning toward designating the Haqqani network, the insurgent group responsible for some of the most spectacular assaults on American bases in Afghanistan in recent years, as a terrorist organization.

With a Congressional reporting deadline looming, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and top military officials are said to favor placing sanctions on the network, which operates in Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to half a dozen current and former administration officials.

A designation as a terrorist organization would help dry up the group’s fund-raising activities in countries like Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, press Pakistan to carry out long-promised military action against the insurgents, and sharpen the administration’s focus on devising policies and operations to weaken the group, advocates say.

But no final decision has been made. A spirited internal debate has American officials, including several at the White House, worried about the consequences of such a designation not only for relations with Pakistan, but also for peace talks with the Taliban and the fate of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the only American soldier known to be held by the militants.

Perhaps the most important consideration, administration and Congressional officials say, is whether the designation would make any difference in the group’s ability to raise money or stage more assaults as the American-led NATO force draws down in Afghanistan. Several Haqqani leaders have already been designated individually as “global terrorists,” so the issue now is what would be gained by designating the entire organization.

An administration official involved in the debate, who declined to speak on the record because of the continuing decision-making process, said, “The optics of designating look great, and the chest-thumping is an understandable expression of sentiment, but everyone has to calm down and say, ‘What does it actually do?’ ”

Mrs. Clinton, in the Cook Islands at the start of a trip to Asia, declined to discuss the internal debate but said she would meet the Congressional deadline in September. “I’d like to underscore that we are putting steady pressure on the Haqqanis,” she said. “That is part of what our military does every day.”

A National Security Council spokeswoman, Caitlin Hayden, would not comment on the administration’s internal deliberations, but hinted in an e-mail on Friday at the White House’s preferences for using other means to pressure the group. “We’ve taken steps to degrade the Haqqani Taliban network’s ability to carry out attacks, including drying up their resources, targeting them with our military and intelligence resources, and pressing Pakistan to take action,” the e-mail said.

Critics also contend that a designation by the Treasury Department or the United Nations, or under an existing executive order, could achieve the same result as adding the network to the much more prominent State Department list, with far fewer consequences.

The internal debate has been so divisive that the United States intelligence community has been assigned to prepare classified analyses on the possible repercussions of a designation on Pakistan. “The whole thing is absurd,” said one senior American official who has long favored designating the group, expressing frustration with the delay.

The administration has debated the designation for more than a year, with senior military officers like Gen. John R. Allen, commander of American and NATO troops in Afghanistan, and many top counterterrorism officials arguing for it.

This year, bipartisan pressure in Congress to add the group to the terrorist list has grown. “It is well past time to designate this network as a terrorist group,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who is chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, said in July.

With virtually unanimous backing, Congress approved legislation that President Obama signed into law on Aug. 10 giving Mrs. Clinton 30 days to determine whether the Haqqani network is a terrorist group. If she says it is not, she must explain her reasoning in a report to lawmakers by Sept. 9.

On one level, the decision seems clear-cut. Since 2008, Haqqani suicide attackers in Afghanistan have struck the Indian Embassy, hotels and restaurants and the headquarters of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force and the American Embassy.

A recent report by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point described how the Haqqani network had evolved into a “sophisticated, diverse and transnational crime network.”

In a paper for the Heritage Foundation, Lisa Curtis, a senior research fellow at the foundation and a former C.I.A. analyst on South Asia, said, “The U.S. should stand by its counterterrorism principles and identify this deadly terrorist organization for what it is.”

American officials confirmed this week that a senior member of the Haqqani family leadership, Badruddin Haqqani, the network’s operational commander, was killed last week in a drone strike in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

Opponents cite several reasons that designating the Haqqani network a terrorist organization could further complicate relations between the United States and Pakistan, just as relations are getting back on track after months of grueling negotiations that finally reopened NATO supply routes through Pakistan.

One reason, officials said, is that such a move would seem to bring Pakistan a step closer to being designated as a state sponsor of terrorism. American officials say the Pakistani military’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate is covertly aiding the insurgents. Pakistani officials have said that the agency maintains regular contact with the Haqqanis, but deny that it provides operational support. They contend that the Obama administration is trying to deflect attention from its own failings in Afghanistan.

In his meetings at the Central Intelligence Agency in early August, Pakistan’s new spy chief, Lt. Gen. Zahir ul-Islam, told the C.I.A. director, David H. Petraeus, that his country would not protest the designation, if it was given. Two other Pakistani officials said this week that the decision was “an internal American issue.” American analysts believe Pakistan would be reluctant to publicly protest the designation because to do so would substantiate American beliefs that Pakistan supports the Haqqanis.

Critics also voice concern that designating the Haqqani network could undermine peace talks with the Taliban and complicate efforts to win the release of Sergeant Bergdahl.

The main American effort to open negotiations with the Taliban remains centered on the talks in Qatar, where Taliban representatives are supposed to be opening an office. But those talks were suspended by the insurgents in March, largely over a delayed prisoner swap for Sergeant Bergdahl, held by the Haqqani network since 2009. The United States would have released five insurgents from Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to win his release.

“A designation makes negotiating with the Taliban harder, and would add another layer of things to do to build confidence in order to restart negotiations,” said Shamila N. Chaudhary, a South Asia analyst at the Eurasia Group who was the director for Pakistan and Afghanistan at the National Security Council.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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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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In Laundering Case, a Lax Banking Law Obscured Money Flow

August 9, 2012

The New York Times on August 8, 2012 released the following:

“By JESSICA SILVER-GREENBERG and EDWARD WYATT

The list of global banks that have been accused in recent years of laundering foreign transactions totaling billions of dollars has been growing — Credit Suisse, Lloyds, Barclays, ING, HSBC — and now Standard Chartered.

The details in each case are different, with the international banks suspected of using their American subsidiaries to process tainted money for clients that included Iran, Cuba, North Korea, sponsors of terrorist groups and drug cartels.

What the cases have in common is that the accused banks took advantage of a law that was not changed until 2008 and that allowed banks to disguise client identities and move their money offshore. The cases, including one filed this week by New York’s banking regulator against Standard Chartered, also cast a harsh light on just how much activity with Iran was permitted in the years leading up to 2008 and whether the practices had violated the spirit, if not the letter, of the law.

Foreign banks until 2008 were allowed to transfer money for Iranian clients through their American subsidiaries to a separate offshore institution. In the so-called U-turn transactions, the banks had to provide scant information about the client to their American units as long as they had thoroughly vetted the transactions for suspicious activity. Suspecting that Iranian banks were financing nuclear weapons and missile programs, the loophole was finally closed in 2008.

The new money-laundering claims made by the New York Department of Financial Services against Standard Chartered are particularly embarrassing for the Treasury Department, because they show how, until 2008, foreign banks could collaborate with their Iranian clients to circumvent United States sanctions, said Jimmy Gurulé, a former Treasury Department official who is a law professor at the University of Notre Dame.

Standard Chartered, as part of a strategy to ignore regulations imposed by a division of the Treasury Department, schemed with its Iranian clients to omit crucial details from money-transfer paperwork, according to a regulatory order filed Monday. 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,” according to the order.

The strategy of masking client details was driven, in part, by a desire for speed, according to law enforcement officials involved in the money-laundering cases. Transactions with certain risky clients, like the Iranians, were subject to much more rigorous vetting. To avoid the holdup, the officials said, some foreign banks willfully removed the names.

Since January 2009, the Justice Department, Treasury and other government entities have brought charges against five foreign banks — the British banks Lloyds and Barclays; the Dutch banks Credit Suisse and ABN Amro, now the Royal Bank of Scotland; and ING Bank of Amsterdam. The British bank HSBC is also under investigation by United States authorities for suspected money-laundering violations connected to Iran, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and North Korea, and the bank has set aside $700 million to cover potential fines.

The settlements with the five banks generally included deferred prosecution agreements along with a substantial forfeiture of assets comparable in size to the basket of illegal transactions the banks engaged in. The five cases, which resulted from bank actions from 1995 through 2007, produced forfeitures of $2.3 billion over the last three and a half years. About half of that money went to Treasury and half to other entities, including the Manhattan district attorney’s office, which joined the Justice Department in most of the settlements.

So far, the Standard Chartered case is playing out entirely differently. To start with, action against the bank on Monday was brought by a single regulator, Benjamin M. Lawsky, a former prosecutor who now leads the New York Department of Financial Services. That is virtually unprecedented, since the vast majority of money-laundering charges come from regulators acting in concert.

The federal agencies are still investigating Standard Chartered and are debating just how expansive the suspected wrongdoing was. Mr. Lawsky claims the bank processed $250 billion in tainted money while cloaking the identities of its Iranian clients by stripping their names from paperwork. Some federal authorities, though, believe that the amount is closer to the $14 million that Standard Chartered acknowledges did not comply with regulations.

It is unclear whether the bank will settle with regulators or continue to fight. Standard Chartered must appear next week before Mr. Lawsky to explain the apparent violations and why it should not have its New York license revoked.

The divergent views on the bank’s culpability stem, in part, from the murkiness of the law governing how foreign institutions processed transactions with Iran.

Until 2008, American economic sanctions had a large exception for Iran because the Middle Eastern nation had such a vast oil business with the United States. The loophole permitted the U-turn transactions, allowing foreign institutions to route money to a bank in the United States, which would then transfer the money immediately to a different foreign institution.

Since Monday, Standard Chartered has fiercely argued that its transactions on behalf of Iranian banks and corporations fell squarely within that loophole. But Mr. Lawsky is largely basing his case on claims that the bank violated the law by covering up the identity of its Iranian clients and thwarting American efforts to detect money laundering.

In the settlements with the five banks since 2009, federal authorities and the Manhattan prosecutor accused the banks of “stripping” identifying information from some of the transactions that would have shown they were subject to sanctions and should not be allowed.

For example, in Lloyds’s $217 million settlement in 2009, senior bank managers warned colleagues in 2002 against “stripping” information from transactions referencing Iran, according to court records. In response, the records say, Lloyds simply began to “instruct Iranian banks on how to ‘clean’ payment instructions in which they were the originating bank to avoid detection” by Treasury Department filters.

The stripping constituted criminal conduct, the Justice Department said, when the transfers from sanctioned countries terminated in the United States — rather than taking a U-turn and heading back offshore. By ending in America, the transactions were subjected to stricter security standards, law enforcement officials said. In a letter sent Wednesday from Adam J. Szubin, director of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, to Britain’s Treasury office, the department explained its enforcement efforts both before and after the 2008 changes. Now, all cross-border transfers require “the inclusion of complete originator and beneficiary information,” according to the letter, which was obtained by The New York Times.

United States banks were involved in the pre-2008 transactions only as an intermediary, and American banks have generally not been charged with violations similar to those brought against the five foreign banks. Because American banks were prohibited from being the beginning or ending party in transactions involving Iran and other sanctioned countries, they would not have been involved in the conduct that got the foreign banks into trouble.

Since the tighter sanctions went into effect, there have been no charges brought on post-2008 conduct, although Treasury’s letter says that investigations are ongoing.

Gina Talamona, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said that the lack of recent illegal conduct is because the settlements with foreign banks “required the banks to implement rigorous compliance programs and other safeguards” against further violations of sanctions. She said that the department’s enforcement program “has had a significant impact on banking industry practices involving sanctions.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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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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US Senate Passes New Iran Sanctions Bill

May 22, 2012

The Wall Street Journal on May 22, 2012 released the following:

“By Samuel Rubenfeld

The U.S. Senate passed on Monday night — by voice vote — new sanctions on Iran ahead of diplomatic talks about Tehran’s nuclear program.

The legislation, which was blocked last Thursday by Republicans seeking minor language tweaks despite overwhelming support, sailed through Monday on the voice vote after doing the same in committee. The bill, among other things, imposes sanctions on the parent companies of foreign subsidiaries violating sanctions. It also requires the disclosure of all sanctionable activity to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lawmakers have been on the offensive to punish Iran for its nuclear program, which Tehran says is peaceful.

“Iran’s Supreme Leader has a choice: Either come to Baghdad with a real plan to terminate Iran’s nuclear program or we’ll make our own plan – through sanctions or other necessary measures — to ensure that Iran fails to achieve its nuclear ambitions,” said Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) in a statement.

The Senate-passed legislation still has to be reconciled with a House bill before it reaches President Barack Obama’s desk. It comes on top of sanctions legislation signed into law last year that targets anyone doing business with Iran’s central bank, which routes most of its oil transactions.

Those sanctions were implemented in early February via executive order, and a guidance and a rule were issued by the Treasury Department later that month. In April, the White House announced a new program that makes it easier to go after Iran sanctions evaders.

The bill passed Monday night broadens the list of available programs under which sanctions can be imposed on Iranian individuals and entities.

It also requires the U.S. to determine whether the National Iranian Oil Co. and National Iranian Tanker Co. are agencies of the country’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, and then impose sanctions on anyone facilitating sanctions for either entity.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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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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Obama Authorizes Sanctions on Members of Yemen Government

May 18, 2012

National Journal on May 16, 2012 released the following:

“By Sara Sorcher

President Obama on Wednesday authorized sanctions on certain members of the government of Yemen and others whom the United States deems might pose a threat to Yemen’s peace, security, and stability.

As Yemen transitions to a democratically elected government, such threats would constitute an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” Obama said in an executive order. The order allows the Treasury Department to freeze the U.S.-based assets of anyone found to “obstruct” the transition—and prevents U.S. citizens from doing business with them.

After months of turmoil in the country, Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped aside after three decades in power, clearing the way in February for his vice president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, to take over and begin the transition to democracy. A number of Saleh’s relatives and supporters were reluctant to give up their high-level positions within the military and government until they were forced to resign. Obama’s order is meant to keep them from further interfering in the political transition.

“The president took this step because he believes that the legitimate aspirations of the Yemeni people, along with the urgent humanitarian and security challenges, cannot be addressed if political progress stalls,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

The order–issued just after officials disrupted an attempt by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula to take down an airliner bound for the U.S.—is meant to ensure that the unrest in Yemen doesn’t undermine counterterrorism goals in the country, according to the The Washington Post. U.S. drone strikes have continued during the unrest, as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula took advantage of the political turmoil and began to make territorial gains in the country’s restive south.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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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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U.S. blacklists two for alleged ties to al Qaeda, Taliban

May 18, 2012

Reuters on May 17, 2012 released the following:

“(Reuters) – The Treasury Department put two people that it alleged have ties to militant Islamist groups active in Afghanistan on a blacklist on Thursday and banned American citizens from any dealings with them.

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said Bakht Gul was a communications official for the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network, accused by the United States of involvement in attacks in Afghanistan, and that Abdul Baqi Bari was a money launderer for the Taliban.

Treasury said Bari funneled funds to support al Qaeda and that Osama Bin Laden, the al Qaeda leader killed in a U.S. raid on his hideout in Pakistan last year, had given Bari and an associate $500,000 to buy a factory in 2002.

It said Gul relayed reports from commanders in Afghanistan to the Haqqani Network, which is based along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and had coordinated movements of weapons and insurgents.

Besides forbidding Americans from doing business with the two, Treasury said that any assets that they were found to be holding in the United States will be blocked.

(Reporting By Glenn Somerville; editing by Mohammad Zargham)”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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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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White House expands reach of sanctions on Syria, Iran

May 1, 2012

Miami Herald on May 1, 2012 released the following:

“BY KEVIN G. HALL
MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Tuesday granted the Treasury Department authority to blacklist foreign nationals and companies that help Iran and Syria evade U.S. and international sanctions.

President Barack Obama signed an executive order and notified congressional leaders that he had given Treasury expanded powers to thwart the evasion of U.S. sanctions. These powers give the accused little chance of seeing the evidence against them, but they don’t run afoul of constitutional due-process rights since they apply to foreign entities.

“I have determined that efforts by foreign persons to engage in activities intended to evade U.S. economic and financial sanctions with respect to Iran and Syria undermine our efforts,” the president said in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

The administration hopes that the ever-tightening financial sanctions will force Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions and the Syrian government to end its oppression of rebels who seek to oust it.

The new executive order allows Treasury to prohibit accused foreign nationals or companies from traveling to the United States and permits the agency to forbid U.S. companies to deal with them.

Treasury and its Office of Foreign Assets Control already have similar powers to lock companies or individuals out of the U.S. banking system, thus effectively shutting them out of the global system. Tuesday’s action was aimed at smaller companies that are helping Iran and Syria skirt the sanctions.

“Both countries are seeking to use non-bank financial institutions,” said a senior Treasury official, who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity in order to speak freely. The official cited currency exchange houses or trading firms that don’t have a U.S. presence and fly under the radar in assisting Iran and Syria.

The agency didn’t sanction anyone with the announcement Tuesday.

“That will come in due course,” the official said. He added that foreign companies that are abetting Syria and Iran are “put on clear notice that the United States government has a new tool at its disposal to disrupt that activity.”

The official described the new measure as “more nimble and agile.” He said it targeted entities that were “in the cracks out there, where they are not engaged in behavior that would rise to the level of a (prior) designation, but are not readily susceptible to an enforcement action … because they have no U.S. presence.”

Tuesday’s announcement followed months of increasing financial pressure on Iran, including a move in March by the European Union to prevent dozens of Iranian banks from accessing the international system through which banks transfer money electronically. Treasury also has sanctioned most of the leaders of the Iranian banking, shipping and military sectors, as well as most of the family members of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and his political allies.

For those accused under the new executive order, there won’t be the sorts of due process protections that U.S. citizens or companies are afforded. Treasury officials will share only unclassified information with the accused, meaning they will often be unable to see the information that’s leading to their accusal.

As with the financial provisions of the controversial Patriot Act, the accused can challenge under the Administrative Procedure Act, which covers not the content of the allegation but rather the process. A federal judge, however, would have access to the classified portions of the case should the accused seek legal redress.

“There is certainly a lot of room for abuse,” said Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian research center in Washington.

Foreign entities, he said, have fewer rights under the U.S. Constitution, and there’s little chance that the accused will sway courts to force the U.S. government to share details.

“The way the modern courts interpret administration law, they give a wide berth to government agencies. … This seems to be more an issue of policy than constitutional,” Shapiro said.”

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

OFAC Litigation – SDN List Removal

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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?

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