U.S. eases financial sanctions on Myanmar

April 18, 2012

english.vietnamnet.vn on April 18, 2012 released the following:

“The U.S. Treasury Department announced on Tuesday that it will ease the financial sanctions on Myanmar in order to allow the American non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to operate in the country.

The U.S. government will drop financial sanctions on Americans whose activities are aimed at meeting basic human needs and promoting democracy in the Southeast Asian country, according to Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

To be specific, the activities exempted from sanctions, which are typically carried out by the NGOs, include health, education, good governance and certain non-commercial development initiatives, said the department.

“These were our action for action, if you will, in response to what we viewed as very positive parliamentary elections,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in his comment on the announcement.

“I think you’ll see more steps as we implement what we laid out on April 4. You’ll see additional steps,” he told reporters.

On April 4, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that Washington will ease its financial and investment restrictions on Myanmar, following the landmark parliamentary by- election in the country.

She also said that the United States was expected to nominate an ambassador to Myanmar very soon, to establish an in-country USAID mission and to support a normal country program for the UN Development Program.

Tuesday’s decision by the Treasury Department signaled Washington’s first step to loosen its wide-ranging and longtime sanctions on Myanmar.

Myanmar held its historic parliamentary by-election on April 1, in which the opposition party led by Aung San Suu Kyi secured big gains, winning 43 of 45 parliamentary seats available.

VietNamNet/Xinhuanet”

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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 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.


Treasury Sanctions an Alleged Top Sinaloa Cartel Operative

March 6, 2012

The Wall Street Journal on March 6, 2012 released the following:

“Treasury Sanctions Top Sinaloa Cartel Operative

By Samuel Rubenfeld

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control said Tuesday it imposed sanctions Jesus Reynaldo Zambada Garcia, a man described as a key operative in Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, along with two Mexican companies for their ties to one of Sinaloa’s drug lords.

The action, taken under the Kingpin Act, freezes any U.S. assets and bans Americans from conducting transactions with them.

Jesus Reynaldo Zambada Garcia controlled a drug trafficking route via the Mexico City International Airport on behalf of his brother, Ismael, who was designated under the Kingpin Act in 2002. Jesus Reynaldo was arrested by Mexico in October 2008 and is awaiting extradition to the U.S., Treasury said.

“OFAC continues to target Ismael Zambada Garcia and his drug trafficking and money laundering network to cripple their influence and deny them access to the U.S. financial system,” said Adam Szubin, in a statement.

Also Tuesday, Treasury designated two Culiacan-based businesses for being owned or controlled by Zynthia Borboa Zazueta, who was sanctioned by OFAC in May 2007.

The companies, Zarka de Occidente S.A. de C.V., is an agricultural firm, and Zarka de Mexico S.A. de C.V., is a retail clothing and accessories business.

OFAC also deleted and changed some names on its blacklist; the full rundown of Tuesday’s moves 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 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.


US says Guatemalan lottery launders drug money

January 20, 2012

CBS News on January 19, 2012 released the following:

“(AP) GUATEMALA CITY — The U.S. Treasury Department says a popular private lottery in Guatemala is a front for laundering drug money.

The department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control says it has designated Bingoton Millionario part of a drug-trafficking ring run by a 39-year-old woman.

It calls the woman, Marllory Dadiana Chacon Rossell, one of the most prolific traffickers in Central America. It says her organization moves tons of cocaine each month into Mexico and on to the United States.

The lottery’s Facebook page says it sells tickets in thousands of stores across Guatemala and has awarded a total of $2 million to 595,000 winners over the last three years.

Guatemala’s government says it will start an investigation based on Thursday’s accusation by the U.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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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.


Ex-McKinsey Consultant Banki’s Conviction Reversed in Part

October 26, 2011
Mahmoud Reza Banki

Business Week on October 24, 2011 released the following:

“By Bob Van Voris and Patricia Hurtado

(Updates with hearing date in 14th paragraph.)

Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) — Former McKinsey & Co. consultant Mahmoud Reza Banki’s convictions for violating the Iran trade embargo and running an unlicensed money-transfer business were thrown out on appeal.

A federal appeals court in New York today reversed Banki’s June 2010 conviction on three counts that charged him with violating U.S. regulations barring trade with Iran and running an informal transfer business called a hawala.

The court upheld Banki’s convictions on two counts of lying in response to a subpoena from the U.S. Treasury Department about the matter. The court said prosecutors may retry Banki on two of the three overturned counts.

Banki, who has been in U.S. custody since his arrest in January 2010, has served most of his 30-month sentence and is due to be released no later than March, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons website.

The decision today may affect the government’s attempt to collect $3.3 million in asset forfeitures it’s seeking in connection with the overturned criminal charges.

Banki, 35, is a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Iran. He has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Princeton University.

‘Life Back Together’

“He’s going to be able to put his life back together and live a very productive life,” said Baruch Weiss, a lawyer for Banki.

Banki used a system called a hawala, popular in the Middle East and South Asia, to transfer funds, according to the appeals court.

U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin, writing for a three-judge appeals panel, said Banki’s family transferred $3.4 million to him from Iran. He received as many as 56 hawala transfers into his bank account from 44 different people and companies over more than three years, Chin said.

In a hawala, money doesn’t physically move through the banking system across borders. Instead, customers transfer funds to operators known as hawaladars in one country, and corresponding funds are distributed by associate hawaladars in another country. The parallel accounts are later settled by the hawaladars in a variety of ways.

Defense lawyers claimed Banki didn’t violate the law because he got the money from his family and reported the funds to the U.S. government.

“This is a vindication of the defense,” Weiss said of the appeals court decision.

Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, said his office was reviewing the opinion and had no further comment.

U.S. District Judge John Keenan set a hearing in the case for Nov. 2, according to Weiss.

The case is U.S. v. Banki, 1:10-CR-00008, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).”

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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.