U.S. eases Myanmar sanctions to boost NGO projects

April 18, 2012

Chicago Tribune on April 17, 2012 released the following:

“Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury on Tuesday relaxed sanctions on Myanmar to permit financial transactions to support certain humanitarian and development projects in the country as it moves ahead with democratic reforms after decades of military rule.

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued a general license authorizing financial transactions for a range of not-for-profit projects and programs in areas such as good governance, health, education and sport.

“We are taking this step today to support a broader range of not-for-profit activity in Burma by private U.S. organizations and individuals to promote increased cooperation between the Burmese and the American people,” a senior Treasury Department official said.

The Obama administration announced this month that it planned to gradually ease certain sanctions on Myanmar, steps that could eventually see bans lifted on U.S. companies investing in or offering financial services to the resource-rich Southeast Asian nation.

The move on sanctions follows a dramatic series of reforms in Myanmar, where Nobel Peace Prize laureate and pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi won a seat in a parliamentary by-election this month that yielded a landslide victory for her party.

“These (steps) were action for action in response to what we viewed as very positive parliamentary elections,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told a news briefing, adding that additional measures would be forthcoming.

The Treasury’s announcement marked the first of a planned series of modest steps to unravel the complex web of U.S. sanctions that have contributed to the country’s isolation and driven it closer to its powerful neighbor, China.

The United States has said it will name an ambassador to Myanmar after an absence of two decades, set up an office of the U.S. Agency for International Development there and support a regular U.N. Development Program operation in the country.

Future steps to ease sanctions could eventually open the door to U.S. investment in Myanmar’s agriculture, tourism, telecommunications and banking sectors, U.S. officials say.

But U.S. officials say they want to see clear evidence of further reforms, including the release of all political prisoners, concrete steps toward national reconciliation, especially with ethnic groups that say they have long been oppressed by the central government, and an end to any military ties to North Korea.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a statement marking Myanmar’s New Year Water Festival on Tuesday, said the last year had seen the country embark “on a historic new path toward democracy and economic development.”

“We look forward to deepening cooperation on a wide range of issues that promote democratization and national reconciliation, from increasing access to education to expanding health care and encouraging a vibrant civil society,” she said.

Pro-democracy advocates have urged the United States to move cautiously, saying sanctions are an important tool to maintain pressure on Myanmar’s government to follow through on pledges of greater democratic openness.

“We need to carefully utilize the sanctions we have by gradually easing them. Major sanctions … should be the last ones to touch,” said Aung Din, president of the U.S. Campaign for Burma.”

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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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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.


Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficking Kingpin [SDNTK] Entries Added to OFAC’s SDN List on April 10, 2012

April 10, 2012
OFAC SDN - SDNTK Horst Walter Overdick Mejia

Today, 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:

OVERDICK MEJIA, Horst Walter (a.k.a. OVERDICK MEJIA, Walther; a.k.a. “TIGRE”), KM 208, Ruta Hacia, Coban, Guatemala; DOB 31 Jul 1967; alt. DOB 31 Jul 1968; citizen Guatemala; nationality Guatemala; Identification Number 0-16 Reg 53089 (Guatemala); alt. Identification Number 0-16 89159 (Guatemala); NIT # 702787-7 (individual) [SDNTK]

OVERDICK MEJIA, Walther (a.k.a. OVERDICK MEJIA, Horst Walter; a.k.a. “TIGRE”), KM 208, Ruta Hacia, Coban, Guatemala; DOB 31 Jul 1967; alt. DOB 31 Jul 1968; citizen Guatemala; nationality Guatemala; Identification Number 0-16 Reg 53089 (Guatemala); alt. Identification Number 0-16 89159 (Guatemala); NIT # 702787-7 (individual) [SDNTK]

TIGRE (a.k.a. OVERDICK MEJIA, Horst Walter; a.k.a. OVERDICK MEJIA, Walther), KM 208, Ruta Hacia, Coban, Guatemala; DOB 31 Jul 1967; alt. DOB 31 Jul 1968; citizen Guatemala; nationality Guatemala; Identification Number 0-16 Reg 53089 (Guatemala); alt. Identification Number 0-16 89159 (Guatemala); NIT # 702787-7 (individual) [SDNTK]

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Treasury Targets Top Guatemalan Drug Trafficker tied to Los Zetas

4/10/2012

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced the designation of Guatemalan national Horst Walter Overdick Mejia, a critical link in the drug trade between Colombian producers and the violent Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas, as a specially designated narcotics trafficker. Today’s action, taken pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with this individual and freezes any assets the designee may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

Last week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York unsealed an indictment of Overdick Mejia for his narcotics trafficking and related firearms activities. On April 3, Guatemalan authorities arrested Overdick Mejia, the head of a major drug trafficking and money laundering organization based in Guatemala. A veteran spice buyer, he used his local contacts and his business acumen to smuggle thousands of kilograms of cocaine to Mexico and on into the United States. It is widely believed that Overdick Mejia is responsible for bringing Los Zetas into Guatemala in 2008 in order to eliminate a competing trafficker and who later became their most important ally in Guatemala. He also laundered millions of U.S. dollars in narcotics proceeds generated by both his own organization as well as Los Zetas.

“Overdick Mejia’s drug trafficking activities and close ties to the Los Zetas makes him a dangerous and critical figure in the Central American narcotics trade,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. “By designating Overdick Mejia, OFAC is demonstrating its support for the Guatemalan government in its struggle against the threats and violence posed by these international drug gangs.”

OFAC coordinated this designation action with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Today’s action is part of ongoing efforts pursuant to the Kingpin Act to apply financial measures against significant foreign narcotics traffickers and their organizations worldwide. The Treasury Department has designated more than 1,000 individuals and entities pursuant to the Kingpin Act since June 2000.

“These are necessary tools we use to ensure that we put dangerous drug trafficking organizations out of business and ensure they cannot exploit the U.S. financial system,” said DEA Chief of Financial Operations John Arvanitis. “Overdick Mejia was a vital link between Colombian drug producers and Mexican cartels such as Los Zetas. This case is yet another example of the united front that law enforcement and regulators must utilize to ensure that organizations such as this one are put out of business forever.”

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 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.

Click here for the chart of the Mejia network.”

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

Douglas McNabb and other members of the firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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.


Treasury Sanctions Iran-Tied Firms, Individuals

March 28, 2012

The Wall Street Journal on March 28, 2012 released the following:

“By Samuel Rubenfeld

The U.S. Treasury Department said Wednesday it imposed additional sanctions on individuals and entities linked to the Iranian state shipping line and the country’s military forces.

Treasury designated the Iran Maritime Industrial Co. SADRA, and its subsidiary Deep Offshore Technology PJS, for being linked to an engineering arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the U.S. says has played an active role in its missile and nuclear programs. Tehran maintains its nuclear program is peaceful and for civilian purposes.

“Treasury is sending a clear signal to the international community that Iran’s attempts to evade international sanctions will not go unnoticed,” said Adam Szubin, director of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, in a statement.

The Treasury Department also designated two front companies for the Iranian state shipping line based in Malta, both of which are owned by an executive of the line who was sanctioned in October 2010. The measures announced Wednesday also target two state shipping line employees — a senior legal adviser and a strategic planner.”

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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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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.


Top Sanctions Official Says Pace To Continue

March 19, 2012

The Wall Street Journal on March 19, 2012 released the following:

“By Samuel Rubenfeld

The pace of sanctions announcements will continue, a top Obama administration official said.

Adam Szubin, director of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, said Monday at a conference of anti-money laundering industry officials that Iran and Syria will be the focus as the year goes on, with emphasis on the international dimensions on key measures.

He said OFAC is also looking at legislation emerging from Congress on Iran and Syria, and how the office would implement it.

Szubin’s remarks opened the 17th Annual International Anti-Money Laundering Conference in Hollywood, Fla.

He said the practice by financial institutions of “stripping data and routing transactions on behalf of sanctioned parties” has mostly abated, saying that is a result of a slew of enforcement actions and because the industry decided doing it isn’t consistent with best practices.

“This is not to say there won’t be any more cases announced because we take this conduct very seriously and where we have cases we will pursue them, but the issue is mostly closed,” Szubin said.

Reviewing the past 16 months of sanctions, Szubin said a month hasn’t gone by when OFAC hasn’t make a major announcement such as expanding regulations, or implementing and dismantling an entire sanctions program, as the office did on Libya.

He said the Libya program, which found $30 billion in a matter of hours, was among the most gratifying things he’s ever done.”

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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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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.


Treasury Sanctions Syrian State Media

March 5, 2012

The Wall Street Journal on March 5, 2012 released the following:

“By Samuel Rubenfeld

The U.S. Treasury Department said Monday it identified the Syrian General Organization of Radio and TV as subject to sanctions imposed on the country’s government.

The organization is a state-run agency subordinate to the information ministry; it operates Syria’s state-owned TV channels and the government’s radio stations, Treasury said in a statement.

It was identified as being subject to sanctions imposed on entities of the Syrian government, regardless of whether they’re specifically identified by Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. The identification, Treasury said, is simply to aid with compliance with the executive order imposing the sanctions.

“The General Organization of Radio and TV has served as an arm of the Syrian regime as it mounts increasingly barbaric attacks on its own population and seeks both to mask and legitimize its violence,” said Adam Szubin, director of OFAC, in the statement.

Monday’s identification comes less than a week after the United Nations said the death toll in the nearly year-long crackdown by the Syrian regime on the opposition reached more than 7,500.

The Syrian regime has used state entities “to repress and attack civilians” in a way that “has imposed a devastating toll on the people of Syria,” Treasury said in the statement.”

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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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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.


U.S. imposes sanctions on Alleged Indonesia militants

February 24, 2012

Chicago Tribune on February 23, 2012 released the following:

“Reuters

WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury slapped sanctions on Thursday against three men it said were members of Jema’ah Ansharut Tauhid, or JAT, an Indonesia-based militant organization.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said the sanctions against Mochammad Achwan, Son Hadi bin Muhadjir and Abdul Rosyid Ridho Ba’asyir were intended to cut off their access to the international finance system by prohibiting U.S. transactions with them.

It said in a statement the move coincided with the State Department designating JAT as a terrorist organization.

JAT is headed by Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, who is also the co-founder of Jemaah Islamiya, or JI, a Southeast Asia-based militant group with links to al Qaeda. All three men have ties to JI, the Treasury said.

“The OFAC is taking another step to ensure that terrorists are cut off from the international financial system and find it ever more difficult to carry out their acts of violence, no matter where they are based,” Treasury’s OFAC director, Adam Szubin, said in a statement.

Al Qaeda is believed to have supported some JI attacks, including the Bali bombings in 2002 that killed more than 200 people.

According to the Treasury, Achwan provided funding for an Aceh militant training camp in 2010. The militants, using the name “Al Qaeda in Aceh,” plotted to kill U.S. aid workers and Western tourists.

The Treasury said Son Hadi supplied explosives used in JI’s 2004 bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, which killed nine people and wounded 182.”

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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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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.


U.S. Treasury names Alleged top Guatemalan drug trafficker

January 19, 2012

Chicago Tribune on January 19, 2012 released the following:

“WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury Department named eight individuals and entities on Thursday as drug traffickers, including a Guatemalan drug lord believed to be one of the most prolific Central American narcotics traffickers, and banned Americans from having any dealings with them.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said Guatemalan national Marllory Dadiana Chacon Rossell was the leader of a criminal operation with units in Honduras and Panama that supplied Mexican drug cartels, and connected her to seven other individuals and entities named as drug traffickers.

“Marllory Chacon’s drug trafficking activities and her ties to the Mexican drug cartels make her a critical figure in the narcotics trade,” said the office’s director Adam Szubin.

Chacron Rossell is also under suspicion for laundering tens of millions of U.S. dollars in narcotics proceeds each month, which would make her the most active money launderer in Guatemala, according to Treasury.

One of the people named was Jorge Andres Fernandez Carbajal, Chacon Rossell’s husband, a Honduran citizen that is accused of providing logistical support for his wife’s operation.

OFAC worked with the Drug Enforcement Administration on the investigation and said its action was part of an ongoing effort under the Kingpin Act to apply financial measures against global drug trafficking organizations.

In addition to prohibiting Americans from conducting financial or commercial transactions with the designated traffickers, Treasury said that any of their assets that come under U.S. jurisdiction will be frozen.”

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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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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.