“U.S. slaps sanctions on Hezbollah ‘agents’ in W. Africa”

June 12, 2013

The Daily Star on June 12, 2013 released the following:

“WASHINGTON: The United States announced sanctions against four Lebanese supporters of Hezbollah Tuesday, alleging they were working to extend the group’s influence in West Africa.

The U.S. Treasury Department named the four as responsible for Hezbollah’s activities in Sierra Leone, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Gambia: Ali Ibrahim al-Watfa, Abbas Loutfi Fawaz, Ali Ahmad Chehade, and Hicham Nimr Khanafer, respectively.

The operatives “have organized fund-raising efforts, recruited members, and in some cases presented themselves as ambassadors of Hezbollah’s Foreign Relations Department,” the Treasury said in a statement.

The sanctions freeze any assets they have on U.S. soil and ban Americans and U.S. businesses from any transactions with them.

“Today’s designations … further expose the alarming reach of Hezbollah’s activities and its determination to create a worldwide funding and recruitment network to support its violence and criminal enterprises around the world,” the department said.

“Even as Hezbollah claims to be a resistance organization, its expansive global network is sending money and operatives to carry out terrorist attacks around the world and fighters to the front lines of the Syrian civil war.”

David Cohen, the Treasury’s under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, vowed to use “all tools at our disposal” to disrupt Hezbollah’s efforts to extend its influence beyond the borders of Lebanon.

“These actions are increasingly important as the funding from Hezbollah’s traditional patron, Iran, is squeezed by international sanctions”

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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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“Colombian Soccer Team Removed From U.S. Treasury’s Drug List”

April 4, 2013

Fox News Latino on April 3, 2013 released the following:

“Lance Armstrong and Barry Bonds have got nothing on Colombia’s America de Cali soccer team.

EPO and human growth hormones are child’s play compared to the Cali squad, which has been on the United State’s list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List) since 1999, after the U.S. claimed the team was under the ownership of Cali drug cartel leaders Miguel and Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela.

While Toronto Blue Jays’ outfielder Melky Cabrera’s suspension and redemption only lasted 50 games, America de Cali had to wait 14 seasons for their chance, as the U.S. Treasury Department finally removed Wednesday the team from SDN list.

“Today’s lifting of the designation of America de Cali is a testament to the enormous efforts made in recent years by both the team and the Colombian government to completely break with the criminal influences that have overshadowed the team in the past,” said David S. Cohen, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, in a press statement.

America de Cali’s front office recently underwent an enormous restructuring and bankruptcy deal, with oversight from the Colombian government to monitor that the team had cut all ties with the former drug lords.

Both Rodríguez Orejuela brothers were arrested and then extradited to the U.S. in 2006, where they pleaded guilty in Miami to charges of conspiracy to import cocaine into the United States.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Colombian drug cartels became deeply involved in the country’s professional soccer league. Besides America de Cali, Medellín’s Atlético Nacional was heavily supported, both financially and on a fan basis, by famed cartel leader Pablo Escobar.

The Medellín Cartel and the Cali Cartel used the teams in a sometimes friendly, sometimes not-so-friendly rivalry between the two groups of narcos.

Besides the removal of the team from the SDN list, the Treasury Department praised the work of the Colombian government and promised to continue working with the Latin American nation to thwart drug cartels.

“As we continue our work with the Colombian government to combat the threat of narcotics trafficking, we will use our authorities to target those responsible for illicit behavior just as we will lift sanctions in cases where there has been a concrete change in behavior,” Cohen said.”

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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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“OFAC Removes 11 Names From Sanctions Lists”

March 29, 2013

The Wall Street Journal on March 28, 2013 released the following:

“By Samuel Rubenfeld

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control removed 10 people and a company from its blacklists on drug traffickers.

The 10 people separately petitioned OFAC to remove their names from the blacklists, and they provided “sufficient information” for OFAC to decide they ended their involvement with people on the blacklist who led them to be included themselves, a Treasury spokesman said.

They had been designated under the Kingpin Act or an executive order targeting Colombian drug traffickers.

The decision, announced in a notice Thursday, demonstrates that inclusion on the blacklists may not always be permanent, the spokesman said in an email.

Any person placed on the OFAC-maintained blacklists can petition to be removed. “In general, proof of changes in circumstances and behavior is key to a successful petition,” the spokesman said.

The full list of those removed on Thursday from OFAC’s blacklists is here.”

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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. Seizes $150 Million in Alleged Hezbollah-Linked Cash

August 21, 2012

The Wall Street Journal on August 20, 2012 released the following:

“By Samuel Rubenfeld

U.S. officials said Monday they seized $150 million connected to a scheme in which entities linked to Hezbollah allegedly used the U.S. financial system to launder money through West Africa and back to the group’s base of Lebanon.

The seizure stems from a civil lawsuit filed last year by federal prosecutors in Manhattan against defunct Lebanese Canadian Bank, or LCB, and two Lebanese exchange houses seeking more than $480 million in funds allegedly derived from drug trafficking and other criminal activity passing through the U.S. financial system.

The seizure was reported by The Wall Street Journal, and there’s more here.

Hezbollah is a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization. The group’s leadership has denied engaging in money laundering to finance its activity.

Prosecutors said Monday they seized $150 million from a New York correspondent account of Lebanon’s Banque Libano Francaise SAL, or BLF. Société Générale de Banque au Liban, which bought LCB in September 2011 for $580 million, paid for part of the transaction through BLF. The seized funds are substitutes for the money in the LCB account in escrow at BLF, prosecutors said.

The warrants to seize the funds were issued August 15, but made public Monday. Neither BLF nor Société Générale de Banque au Liban were accused of wrongdoing, prosecutors said.

“Money is the lifeblood of terrorist and narcotics organizations, and while banks which launder money for terrorists and narco-traffickers may be located abroad, today’s announcement demonstrates that those banks and their assets are not beyond our reach,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement.

A lawyer for LCB declined to comment to the Journal.

The U.S. Treasury Department designated LCB as a “primary money-laundering concern” under the Patriot Act in February 2011, accusing it at the time of facilitating money laundering by a network of drug traffickers spanning South America, Europe, the Middle East and West Africa.

Société Générale de Banque au Liban acquired LCB’s assets and liabilities following the Treasury’s finding.

According to the civil complaint filed last year, the alleged scheme involved cash sent from Lebanon to the U.S. between January 2007 and early 2011 to buy used cars that were later sold in West Africa for cash.

The money from from the car sales was then allegedly transferred back to Lebanon with proceeds from narcotics trafficking and other crimes, prosecutors said in the complaint.

Correction: The seized funds came from the New York correspondent account of Lebanon’s Banque Libano Francaise SAL, not from a U.S. account at Société Générale de Banque au Liban.”

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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. Treasury Confirms Probe Of Standard Chartered

August 8, 2012

Bloomberg on August 8, 2012 released the following:

“By Ian Katz and Cheyenne Hopkins

The U.S. Treasury Department said its Office of Foreign Assets Control is investigating Standard Chartered Plc for “potential Iran-related violations as well as a broader set of potential sanctions violations.”

OFAC, as the office is commonly referred to, “will continue to implement and enforce our sanctions vigorously,” Adam Szubin, the office’s director, said today in a letter to Second Permanent Secretary Tom Scholar at the U.K. Treasury. Szubin said OFAC will coordinate with “other federal and state agencies,” including the New York State Department of Financial Services. OFAC enforces economic and trade punishments.

Standard Chartered might be asked to pay as much as $700 million to resolve money-laundering allegations filed by the head of the New York agency after his department grew impatient with inaction by federal regulators, a person familiar with the case said.

Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the state’s financial services department, tried unsuccessfully a few months ago to get U.S. regulators to punish the London-based bank for conduct involving disguised Iranian money transfers, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. The transfers have been under investigation by federal agencies for more than two years, according to Lawsky’s Aug. 6 order.

CEO Sands

Standard Chartered Chief Executive Officer Peter Sands criticized Lawsky’s claims.

“We reject the position and portrayal of facts by the Department of Financial Services,” Sands said on a conference call with reporters today, his first public comments since the findings were published. “It would be disproportionate and wholly inconsistent with the actions of other U.S. authorities in other sanctions matters” to revoke the bank’s New York license, he said.

Lawsky has threatened to strip the bank of its license to operate in the state, alleging it processed $250 billion of deals with Iranian banks subject to sanctions.

The OFAC director’s letter to the U.K. Treasury was obtained by Bloomberg News.”

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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. Imposes New Sanctions On Iran Proliferators, Companies Linked To Regime

July 17, 2012

RTT News on July 12, 2012 released the following:

“(RTTNews) – The U.S. Treasury Department announced Thursday it is sanctioning a number of companies and individuals tied to weapons proliferation in Iran or circumvention of existing sanctions on the Iranian regime.

“Iran today is under intense, multilateral sanctions pressure, and we will continue to ratchet up the pressure so long as Iran refuses to address the international community’s well-founded concerns about its nuclear program,” Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen said in a press release.

He added, “Today’s actions are our next step on that path, taking direct aim at disrupting Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs as well as its deceptive efforts to use front companies to sell and move its oil.”

Today’s new sanctions came in two parts: 1) placing sanctions on 15 entities or individuals involved in supporting Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs and 2) publicly sanctioning over 25 companies and individuals as Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) who have repeatedly acted to circumvent current sanctions on the Iranian regime.

Both sets of sanctions block all U.S. persons and companies from engaging in any transactions with the designated entities and individuals.

Most of the entities designated under the first set of sanctions (E.O. 13382) are tied to Iran’s Ministry of Defense for Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) and its subsidiary Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO).

Under executive order 13382, which is “aimed at freezing the assets of proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters and isolating them financially,” Treasury can prohibit all transactions between the designees and any U.S. person and freeze any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction, according to the State Department.

Electronic Components Industries Co. (ECI) and Information Systems Iran (ISIRAN), one of the largest and most experienced information technology companies in Iran, and Daniel Frosch, an Austrian exporter currently living in Dubai, were both designated under E.O. 13382. Frosch had previously been under investigation by Austria for exporting components that could be used in nuclear weapons to Iran.

The second set of sanctions, pursuant under E.O. 13599 or the SDN List, targets “individuals and companies owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, targeted countries. It also lists individuals, groups, and entities, such as terrorists and narcotics traffickers designated under programs that are not country-specific,” according to Treasury.

Petro Suisse Intertrade Company SA (Switzerland), Hong Kong Intertrade Company, Noor Energy Ltd, (Malaysia) and Petro Energy Intertrade Company (Dubai) were all added to the SDN List today “because they are owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, the Government of Iran,” Treasury said.

Twenty Iranian financial institutions were also designated as SDN as well as 58 National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) vessels, the NITC itself and 27 of its affiliated entities.

Pundits have argued over the efficiency of the U.S. government’s two-track approach to Iran – on the one hand, pressuring the regime with sanctions and on the other, urging them to discuss their nuclear program during meetings with the international community.

However, recent leaks from Iran showing state-owned news agencies being discouraged from reporting the effects of sanctions could show the steps are having an impact.

“Our country is not in a position to allow the media to publish news or analysis which is not compatible with the regime’s and national interests,” Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance chief Mohammad Hosseini recently told local media site dolat.ir in uncharacteristically candid terms.

He added, “The situation regarding sanctions and other pressures, especially in economy … requires more cooperation by the media so the country is not hurt.”

The next round of working-level meetings between Iran and the P5+1, the international group charged with discussing the Iranian nuclear program, will take place in Istanbul on July 24th.

by RTT Staff Writer”

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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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Treasury Places Sanctions On Wife and Son of Sinaloa Cartel Leader

June 7, 2012

The Wall Street Journal on June 7, 2012 released the following:

“By Samuel Rubenfeld

The U.S. Treasury Department said Thursday it slapped sanctions on two key operatives of the Sinaloa drug cartel.

Kingpin Act sanctions were placed on Maria Alajandrina Salazar Hernandez and Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, the wife and son of drug “Chapo” Guzman, who leads the Sinaloa cartel, Treasury said.

“Today marks the sixth time in the past year that OFAC has targeted and exposed operatives of the Chapo Guzman organization,” said Adam Szubin, director of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, in a statement.

Guzman and the Sinaloa cartel were identified by the president as foreign narcotics traffickers under the Kingpin Act in 2001 and 2009, the statement said. Guzman and his son were indicted in the U.S. on multiple drug trafficking charges in August 2009.

Salazar provides support to the drug activities of her husband and the cartel more broadly, Treasury said.

“This action builds on Treasury’s aggressive efforts, alongside its law enforcement partners, to target individuals who facilitate Chapo Guzman’s drug trafficking operations and to pursue the eventual dismantlement of his organization, which is culpable in untold violence,” Szubin said.

The action freezes their assets and prohibits anyone from doing business with them. Treasury said OFAC has placed Kingpin Act sanctions on more than 1,100 businesses and individuals linked to 97 drug lords since June 2000.”

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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.

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