How U.S. sanctions hurt Iranian Internet activists

March 23, 2012

CNet on March 21, 2012 released the following:

“In 1997, President Clinton signed an executive order creating an electronic embargo against Iran. It’s still in effect today — and causing headaches and hassles for Internet companies.

by Declan McCullagh

analysis President Bill Clinton’s 1997 electronic embargo against Iran, which curbed its citizens’ access to U.S.-based software and Web sites, continues to create legal hassles for American Web companies.

In August 1997, Clinton signed an executive order saying U.S. companies and individuals could not provide “goods, technology, or services to Iran” — a decree that led to unintended consequences such as Utah-based Bluehost giving the boot to Iranian bloggers and opensource software site SourceForge.net denying access to Iranians.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s announcement yesterday, which was designed to complement President Obama’s statement marking the Iranian New Year and comes as advocates of war against Iran are redoubling their efforts, may not be that much help.

Treasury says these forms of “services and software” can be made available to Iran:

Personal Communications (e.g., Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk, Microsoft Live, Skype (non-fee based))
Updates to Personal Communications Software
Personal Data Storage (e.g., Dropbox)
Browsers/Updates (e.g., Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer)
Plug-ins (e.g., Flashplayer, Shockwave, Java)
Document Readers (e.g., Acrobat Readers)
Free Mobile Apps Related to Personal Communications
RSS Feed Readers and Aggregators (e.g., Google Feed Burner).

But Treasury spokesman John Sullivan downplayed the significance of yesterday’s news. The “announcement was a clarification of existing guidance,” Sullivan told CNET in e-mail. “It did not change the guidelines.”

The problem is that the existing guidelines — last liberalized in March 2010 — are still pretty restrictive.

One example: even after that modest liberalization, Google restricts Iranians’ access to the Android Market, now called Google Play. In response to a question at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt blamed Treasury regulations.

“I’m with you,” Schmidt said. “But prison–there’s no bandwidth.”

After the 2010 liberalization, Google did announce that “we’re making Google Earth, Picasa, and Chrome available for download in Iran.” (A Google representative declined to elaborate when contacted by CNET.)

But Iranian Internet users remain, understandably, peeved that the other restrictions imposed by the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, continue to exist.

They’ve started a petition saying they’re denied access to the Android Market, among other products. We “do not have the slightest interest in the governments’ political stances,” the petition says. “We just want to be able to use the software like any other person in the world.”

The irony: Clinton’s anti-Iran order in the 1990s presumably was never meant to restrict access to security software and Web sites that can aid Iranian activists agitating for a freer society. Yet it does. A 2010 article in Foreign Affairs called the current rules “grossly outdated.” (A newer set of U.S. sanctions against Iran, restricting financial transactions, is also causing unintended consequences for everyone from drug maker Merck to a Redmond, Wa.-based diaper maker.)

Collin Anderson, an independent researcher in North Dakota who focuses on Internet filtering and censorship in the Middle East, has compiled a list of U.S.-based technology products that remain unavailable to Iranians. Among them: Apple’s iOS app store, McAfee’s antivirus software, Oracle’s Java and MySQL, Adobe’s Acrobat Reader, DropBox, Real Player, Google AdWords, and Google Android Market.

After yesterday’s list from OFAC that mentions some of those products by name, the list of off-limits apps is likely to shrink. But Anderson notes that OFAC has not authorized some very useful products and services including antivirus applications, privacy-protective VPNs, the ability to buy domain names and SSL certificates, satellite connectivity, and phone or other mobile hardware. VPNs would be especially useful in a country like Iran, which has demonstrated an extraordinary willingness to conduct surveillance of its citizens.

“There are allowances on food and medical supplies that could be modeled for hardware or others, but the executive agencies have been quite evidently afraid of members of Congress like Mark Kirk,” Anderson says. Sen. Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican who holds President Obama’s old seat, has been leading the charge to cripple Iran’s economy on suspicions it’s developing nuclear weapons.

Another limitation is that other countries may not benefit; even though the Treasury Department’s OFAC may be edging toward a more liberal approach, Commerce Department regulations still target democracy activists in Syria, where a near-civil war continues. Similarly, downloads of Google Earth are banned for Sudan.

“Restrictions from the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security still appear to prevent communications tools and services from being exported to Syrians without a license,” Electronic Frontier Foundation attorneys Cindy Cohn and Jillian York write in an essay. “Because of these restrictions, Syrians still cannot access Google products Chrome and Earth, cannot download Java, among various other tools, and cannot use hosting services like Rackspace, SuperGreenHosting and others.”

The unintended consequences of these electronic sanctions aren’t exactly new. In 2003, OFAC sent Monster.com legal guidance that caused it to censor resumes from its users that mentioned Iran, Syria, Sudan, Myanmar, Cuba, and Libya. Back in 1996, citing the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act, a U.S. government official quietly pulled the plug on Iran’s Internet connection.

In theory, neither Treasury’s OFAC nor Commerce’s BIS probably have the authority to interfere with Web communications. The so-called 1988 Berman Amendment to federal law stripped the president of his authority to “directly or indirectly” regulate the export of “information and informational materials.”

But in reality, bureaucrats aren’t known to relinquish power readily. And while President Obama has been willing to record YouTube videos on the free flow of information, he has yet to reverse his predecessor’s decision. Which means that Clinton’s 1997 embargo, which claimed Iran posed an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States,” has forced Iranians and Syrians to remain second-class Internet citizens.

Update March 22 at 9:40 a.m. PT: I received e-mail from Treasury’s John Sullivan elaborating on his earlier response, which he said was brief because he was traveling in the Middle East. Sullivan’s elaboration this morning, referring to this week’s OFAC announcement, said: “It was a significant step that was in line with the president’s message and clarified the guidance for companies exporting information technology to Iran which is quite important as some companies were reluctant to do so in the past.””

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

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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.


Alleged Drug Traffickers Sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

January 18, 2012

Voice of America on January 17, 2012 released the following:

“Three named for providing “material support to the drug trafficking activities”

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, has designated three people with ties to the head of the Sinaloa Cartel as narcotics traffickers under the Kingpin Act. Americans are prohibited from conducting financial or commercial transactions with the designees and any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen.

OFAC named Mexican nationals Oscar Alvarez Zepeda and Joel Valdez Benites, and Colombian national Carlos Mario Torres Hoyos, saying they provide “material support to the drug trafficking activities” of Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin Guzman Loera, also known as Chapo Guzman.

“Today marks the fourth time in the past year that OFAC has targeted and exposed the support structures of the organization led by Chapo Guzman” said Adam Szubin, director of OFAC in a statement.

The Treasury Department said all three traffickers have ties to Colombian drug trafficker Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa, who was designated under the Kingpin Act in February 2011 along with 70 other individuals and entities. Cifuentes Villa was indicted on drug trafficking charges in New York federal court, and earlier charged in Florida federal court with drug trafficking and money laundering.

The most recent designations are part of an ongoing effort to apply financial measures against foreign narcotics traffickers and their organizations worldwide. The Treasury Department has designated more than 1,000 individuals and entities under the Kingpin Act since June 2000.

Penalties for violating the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1,000,075,000 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 for violating the Kingpin Act.

The U.S. Treasury Department “will continue to work with law enforcement and foreign counterparts,” said Mr. Szubin, “to help disrupt, and eventually dismantle, Chap Guzman’s criminal empire.””

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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 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 Targets Alleged Key Panama-based Money Laundering Operation Linked to Mexican and Colombian Drug Cartels

January 3, 2012

VAdvert.co.uk on December 31, 2011 released the following:

“Sophia Jenson

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today designated Lebanese-Colombian nationals Jorge Fadlallah Cheaitelly (“Cheaitelly”) and Mohamad Zouheir El Khansa (“El Khansa”) as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTs) due to their significant role in international money laundering activities involving drug trafficking proceeds. OFAC also designated nine other individuals and 28 entities in Colombia, Panama, Lebanon, and Hong Kong with ties to Cheaitelly and El Khansa. 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 these entities and individuals and freezes any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

“Jorge Fadlallah Cheaitelly runs an extensive money laundering network based in Panama and Colombia with ties to Mexico, Lebanon, and Hong Kong,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. “By designating these individuals and companies we are exposing a significant international money laundering network, forcing them out of the international financial system, and undermining their ability to launder drug money through a global support network for the Mexican and Colombian drug cartels.”

Treasury took today’s actions in close coordination with investigations by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the New York City Police Department.

“These criminals and their entities operate in the shadows, using sophisticated means and various business fronts to launder drug trafficking proceeds worldwide,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. “These traffickers and businesses fuel drug trafficking, violence, and corruption. The United States Government will use all available law enforcement tools to attack and defeat these global criminal networks and their facilitators.”

Jorge Fadlallah Cheaitelly leads a Panama-based drug trafficking and money laundering organization that stretches across the globe, spanning the Americas, the Middle East, and Hong Kong. Today’s action targets key Colombian members of the Cheaitelly/El Khansa criminal organization, including Cali-based money launderer Jaime Edery Crivosei, Barranquilla-based drug trafficker Benny Issa Fawaz and Maicao-based money launderer Ali Mohamad Saleh. Cheaitelly’s key financial associates are also targeted, including his siblings, Jaime Fadlallah Cheaytelli, Guiseppe Ali Cheaitelli Saheli, and Fatima Fadlallath Cheaitilly, and two Lebanon-based associates, Fawaz Mohamad Rahall and Ahmed El Khansa.

Today’s action also targets 28 companies controlled by Jorge Cheaitelly and Mohamad El Khansa and their associates in Panama, Colombia and Hong Kong. Among today’s designations are several money exchange businesses in Panama — Eurocambio, S.A., Euro Exchange Y Financial Commerce, Inc. (a.k.a. Eurex) and General Commerce Overseas, Inc. ­– as well as Junior International S.A., Global Technology Import & Export, S.A. (GTI), and Fedco Import & Export, S.A., import/export businesses located in Panama’s Colon Free Zone that are part of the Cheaitelly/El Khansa financial network. Junior International S.A. is affiliated with the significant Lebanese drug trafficker and money launderer, Ayman Joumaa, who was designated under the Kingpin Act in January 2011. Cheaitelly replaced Ayman Joumaa as director of Junior International S.A. and continues to operate the company with Joumaa’s brothers who are also designated as narcotics traffickers.

Several front companies located in Maicao, Colombia were also designated, including electronics stores Bodega Electro Giorgio and Almacen Electro Sony Star, general merchandise businesses Family Fedco and Comercial Globanty, and luggage stores Almacen Batul and Comercial Estilo y Moda. Two businesses controlled by Cali-based money launderer Jaime Edery Crivosei, Agropecuaria La Perla Ltda and KPD S.A., were also designated. OFAC also designated Polyton (Asia) Limited, a company located in Hong Kong, for acting for or on behalf of Guiseppe Ali Cheaitelly Saheli.

Today’s action is part of the Treasury Department’s ongoing efforts pursuant to the Kingpin Act to target the financial networks of significant foreign narcotics traffickers and their organizations worldwide. The Treasury Department has designated more than 1,000 individuals and entities 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 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.”

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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.


Targeting Iran’s Support for Terrorism Worldwide

October 14, 2011

U.S. Department of the Treasury on October 14, 2011 released the following:

“By: David S. Cohen 10/14/2011

This week, Treasury took two major actions targeting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps- Qods Force (Qods Force), a special unit within the IRGC that the Government of Iran uses to provide support to terrorist and extremist organizations and operations around the world.

In response to the Qods Force plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States while he was here in Washington, Treasury moved swiftly on Tuesday to impose sanctions against five individuals connected to the plot, including four senior Qods Force officers.

And the very next day, we took additional action against the Qods Force by applying sanctions against Mahan Air, the second largest commercial Iranian airline, for secretly ferrying Qods Force operatives, weapons and funds on its flights, including facilitating the covert travel of suspected Qods Force officers into and out of Iraq.

This week’s revelation about the international, state-sponsored murder-for-hire plot, the $100,000 down payment coming into the United States from a non-Iranian foreign bank, and the Qods Force’s use of the second largest Iranian commercial airline to further its terrorist activities confirms our longstanding concerns that the Qods Force abuses Iranian commercial and financial resources to facilitate its terrorist activities, and those that continue to do business with Iran face serious risks of becoming involved in the IRGC’s illicit actions.

Treasury first targeted the Qods Force in 2007 for its activities in support of terrorism around the world, and has taken action against the Qods Force many times since. This week was no different – our actions are part of an ongoing strategy to pressure the Government of Iran for its failure to live up to its international obligations and expose the individuals and entities involved in Iran’s illicit activities.

As we look for more ways to increase this pressure, we will – both unilaterally and multilaterally, in close coordination with our partners and allies around the world – continue to target the IRGC, the Qods Force, its front companies and resources, and the Qods Force in an effort to isolate them from the international financial and commercial systems.

David S. Cohen is Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.”

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.


Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers named under the Kingpin Act [SDNTK] Entries Added on OFAC’s SDN List on September 8, 2011

September 8, 2011

As of today, OFAC has added Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers named under the Kingpin Act [SDNTK] Entries to the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN List):

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

ALCALA CORDONES, Cliver Antonio; DOB 21 Nov 1961; Cedula No. 6097211 (Venezuela); Major General of the Fourth Armored Division of the Venezuelan Army (individual) [SDNTK]

AMIN (a.k.a. MADRIZ MORENO, Ramon Isidro); DOB 4 Apr 1957; Cedula No. 6435192 (Venezuela); Officer, Venezuelan Intelligence Service – SEBIN (individual) [SDNTK]

BERNAL ROSALES, Freddy Alirio; DOB 16 Jun 1962; POB San Cristobal, Tachira State, Venezuela; Cedula No. 5665018 (Venezuela); Passport B0500324 (Venezuela); Congressman, United Socialist Party of Venezuela (individual) [SDNTK]

FIGUEROA SALAZAR, Amilcar Jesus (a.k.a. “TINO”); DOB 10 Jul 1954; POB El Pilar, Sucre State, Venezuela; Cedula No. 3946770 (Venezuela); Passport 31-2006 (Venezuela); Alternate President to the Latin American Parliament (individual) [SDNTK]

MADRIZ MORENO, Ramon Isidro (a.k.a. “AMIN”); DOB 4 Apr 1957; Cedula No. 6435192 (Venezuela); Officer, Venezuelan Intelligence Service – SEBIN (individual) [SDNTK]

TINO (a.k.a. FIGUEROA SALAZAR, Amilcar Jesus); DOB 10 Jul 1954; POB El Pilar, Sucre State, Venezuela; Cedula No. 3946770 (Venezuela); Passport 31-2006 (Venezuela); Alternate President to the Latin American Parliament (individual) [SDNTK]

A chart of these individuals may be found here: Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act – September 2011 – FARC.

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Treasury Designates Four Venezuelan Officials for Providing Arms and Security to the FARC

9/8/2011
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced the designation of four Venezuelan government officials pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act) for acting for or on behalf of the narco-terrorist organization the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), often in direct support of its narcotics and arms trafficking activities.

“Today’s action exposes four Venezuelan government officials as key facilitators of arms, security, training and other assistance in support of the FARC’s operations in Venezuela,” said OFAC Director Adam Szubin. “OFAC will continue to aggressively target the FARC’s support structures in Venezuela and throughout the region.”

As a result of today’s action, U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with today’s designees and any assets that they may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen. OFAC designated the following individuals for sanctions today:

  • Amilcar Jesus Figueroa Salazar (“Tino”): a member of Venezuela’s delegation to the Latin American Parliament (Parlamento Latinamericano) who has served as a primary arms dealer for the FARC, and is a main conduit for FARC leaders based in Venezuela. He has also provided training for the FARC.
  • Cliver Antonio Alcala Cordones: a Major General of the Fourth Armored Division of the Venezuelan Army who has used his position to establish an arms-for-drugs route with the FARC.
  • Freddy Alirio Bernal Rosales: a Congressman for the United Socialist Party of Venezuela and former Mayor of the Libertador Municipality of Caracas who has facilitated arms sales between the Venezuelan government and the FARC.
  • Ramon Isidro Madriz Moreno (“Amin”): a key officer of Venezuela’s intelligence service (SEBIN) who has coordinated security for the FARC.

The U.S. Department of State designated the FARC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997 and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to Executive Order 13224 in 2001. The FARC was identified by the President as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker pursuant to the Kingpin Act in 2003.

Today’s action continues Treasury’s ongoing efforts under the Kingpin Act to apply financial measures against significant foreign narcotics traffickers and their networks across the globe. Treasury has designated more than one thousand individuals and entities worldwide pursuant to the Kingpin Act since June 2000.

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 pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.”

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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 McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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More Syria [Syria] Entries Added on OFAC’s SDN List on August 30, 2011

August 30, 2011

As of today, OFAC has added Syria [Syria] Entries to the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN List):

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

ABD-AL-KARIM ALI, Ali (a.k.a. ABD-AL-KARIM, Ali; a.k.a. ABDULKARIM ALI, Ali; a.k.a. ABDULKARIM, Ali; a.k.a. KARIM ALI, Ali Abdel; a.k.a. KARIM ALI, Ali Abdul; a.k.a. KARIM, Ali Abdul); DOB 1953; POB Latakia Governorate, Syria; Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon (individual) [SYRIA]

ABD-AL-KARIM, Ali (a.k.a. ABD-AL-KARIM ALI, Ali; a.k.a. ABDULKARIM ALI, Ali; a.k.a. ABDULKARIM, Ali; a.k.a. KARIM ALI, Ali Abdel; a.k.a. KARIM ALI, Ali Abdul; a.k.a. KARIM, Ali Abdul); DOB 1953; POB Latakia Governorate, Syria; Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon (individual) [SYRIA]

ABDULKARIM ALI, Ali (a.k.a. ABD-AL-KARIM ALI, Ali; a.k.a. ABD-AL-KARIM, Ali; a.k.a. ABDULKARIM, Ali; a.k.a. KARIM ALI, Ali Abdel; a.k.a. KARIM ALI, Ali Abdul; a.k.a. KARIM, Ali Abdul); DOB 1953; POB Latakia Governorate, Syria; Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon (individual) [SYRIA]

ABDULKARIM, Ali (a.k.a. ABD-AL-KARIM ALI, Ali; a.k.a. ABD-AL-KARIM, Ali; a.k.a. ABDULKARIM ALI, Ali; a.k.a. KARIM ALI, Ali Abdel; a.k.a. KARIM ALI, Ali Abdul; a.k.a. KARIM, Ali Abdul); DOB 1953; POB Latakia Governorate, Syria; Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon (individual)
[SYRIA]

KARIM ALI, Ali Abdel (a.k.a. ABD-AL-KARIM ALI, Ali; a.k.a. ABD-AL-KARIM, Ali; a.k.a. ABDULKARIM ALI, Ali; a.k.a. ABDULKARIM, Ali;a.k.a. KARIM ALI, Ali Abdul; a.k.a. KARIM, Ali Abdul); DOB 1953; POB Latakia Governorate, Syria; Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon (individual) [SYRIA]

KARIM ALI, Ali Abdul (a.k.a. ABD-AL-KARIM ALI, Ali; a.k.a. ABD-AL-KARIM, Ali; a.k.a. ABDULKARIM ALI, Ali; a.k.a. ABDULKARIM, Ali; a.k.a. KARIM ALI, Ali Abdel; a.k.a. KARIM, Ali Abdul); DOB 1953; POB Latakia Governorate, Syria; Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon (individual) [SYRIA]

KARIM, Ali Abdul (a.k.a. ABD-AL-KARIM ALI, Ali; a.k.a. ABD-AL-KARIM, Ali; a.k.a. ABDULKARIM ALI, Ali; a.k.a. ABDULKARIM, Ali; a.k.a. KARIM ALI, Ali Abdel; a.k.a. KARIM ALI, Ali Abdul); DOB 1953; POB Latakia Governorate, Syria; Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon (individual) [SYRIA]

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Treasury Targets Additional Syrian Government Officials for Sanctions

8/30/2011
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced the designations of three senior officials of the Government of Syria –Syria’s Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid Al-Moallem, Syria’s Presidential Political and Media Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban and Syria’s Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali – pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13573.

“Building on our sanctions targeting the entire Government of Syria, we are bringing additional pressure to bear today directly on three senior Asad regime officials who are principal defenders of the regime’s activities,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen.

Walid Al-Moallem was appointed Foreign and Expatriates Minister in February 2006 and Bouthaina Shaaban has served as Syria’s Presidential Political and Media Advisor since July 2008. As Syria’s primary link to Lebanon, Ali Abdul Karim Ali has served as the Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon since May 2009 and has maintained close ties to Syrian intelligence throughout his diplomatic career.

Signed by President Obama on May 18, 2011, E.O. 13573 targets senior officials of the Government of Syria. On August 18, 2011, the President signed E.O. 13582, imposing additional sanctions – the strongest to date – against the Government of Syria and its instrumentalities, including its Central Bank and its energy sector. As a result of today’s action, U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with any of the designees and any assets they may have subject to U.S. jurisdiction are frozen.

Identifying Information:

Individual: Al-Moallem, Walid
AKA: MUALLEM, WALID
AKA: AL-MOUALEM, WALID
AKA: AL-MUALEM, WALID
AKA: AL-MUALLEM, WALID
AKA: MUHI EDDINE MOALLEM, WALID
AKA: MOALLEM, WALID
AKA: AL-MOUALLEM, WALID
DOB: 1941
POB: Damascus, Syria

Individual: Shaaban, Bouthaina
AKA: Shaaban, Buthaina
DOB: 1953
POB: Homs, Syria

Individual: Ali Abdul Karim Ali
AKA: Ali Abdul Karim
AKA: Ali Abd-al-Karim
AKA: Ali Abd-al-Karim Ali
AKA: Ali Abdel Karim Ali
AKA: Ali Abdulkarim Ali
AKA: Ali Abdulkarim
DOB: 1953
POB: Latakia Governorate, Syria”

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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 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.

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April 20, 2011 OFAC Actions: Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers Kingpin (SDNTK) Added to OFAC’s SDN list

April 20, 2011

As of today, OFAC has added five (and 1 assumed name) SDNTK individuals to the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN List):

BAYIK, Cemil; DOB 26 Feb 1955; alt. DOB 1951; alt. DOB 1954; POB Keban, Elazig, Turkey; alt. POB Hazar, Elazig, Turkey; citizen Turkey;
Turkish Identificiation Number 23860719950 (Turkey) (individual) [SDNTK]

ERDEM, Selahattin (a.k.a. KALKAN, Duran); DOB 1954; alt. DOB 1958; POB Adana, Tufanbeyli, Turkey; alt. POB Derik, Turkey; citizen Turkey;
Turkish Identificiation Number 18538165962 (Turkey) (individual) [SDNTK]

KALKAN, Duran (a.k.a. ERDEM, Selahattin); DOB 1954; alt. DOB 1958; POB Adana, Tufanbeyli, Turkey; alt. POB Derik, Turkey; citizen Turkey;
Turkish Identificiation Number 18538165962 (Turkey) (individual) [SDNTK]

KARTAL, Remzi; DOB 5 May 1948; POB Van, Dibekozu, Turkey; citizen Turkey; Turkish Identificiation Number 10298480866 (Turkey)
(individual) [SDNTK]

OK, Sabri; DOB 1958; POB Adiyaman, Turkey; citizen Turkey; Turkish Identificiation Number 15673320164 (Turkey) (individual) [SDNTK]

UZUN, Adem; DOB 7 Sep 1967; POB Kirsehir, Boztepe, Turkey; citizen Turkey; Turkish Identificiation Number 12203628318 (Turkey)
(individual) [SDNTK]

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“4/20/2011
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced the designation of Kongra-Gel founders Cemil Bayik and Duran Kalkan and leaders Remzi Kartal, Sabri Ok and Adem Uzun as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTs) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act).

Formerly known as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Kongra-Gel was named by the President as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker under the Kingpin Act in May 2008 for its more than two decades-long participation in drug trafficking. Kongra-Gel uses its network across Europe to produce, transport, and traffic opiates and cannabis. Drug trafficking is one of the Kongra-Gel’s most lucrative criminal activities. The organization uses drug proceeds to obtain weapons and materials. The State Department designated the Kongra-Gel as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in 2001 pursuant to Executive Order 13224 and as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 1997.

“We are striking at the heart of Kongra Gel with this action against its founders, key leaders and sources of funding and will continue efforts to suppress the flow of illicit narcotics proceeds to this organization in support of its terrorist activities,” said Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen.

One of its founders, Cemil Bayik is also a senior military commander of the Kongra-Gel. Duran Kalkan serves on the group’s chairmanship council and is responsible for an attack that killed seven Turkish soldiers in December 2009. Remzi Kartal is the chief Kongra-Gel operative in Europe. Sabri Ok is a senior Kongra-Gel leader responsible for the group’s finances in Europe, and Adem Uzun operates on behalf of the Kongra-Gel in northern Iraq. Today’s action freezes any assets the five individuals may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with them.

Supported by the Drug Enforcement Administration, today’s action is part of ongoing efforts pursuant to the Kingpin Act to apply financial measures against significant foreign narcotics traffickers worldwide. Internationally, more than 900 businesses and individuals linked to 87 drug kingpins have been identified for sanctions since June 2000.

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.”

See OFAC’s Press Release here.

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

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