“Hotel owned by blacklisted businessman was only option, embassy says”

August 14, 2014

The Myanmar Times on August 14, 2014 released the following:

“By Tim McLaughlin

The United States Embassy in Yangon said that it failed to recognise early enough that a hotel it was assigned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was owned and constructed by a blacklisted businessman, leaving no option but to use the venue to host Secretary of State John Kerry last weekend.

The Myanmar Times reported on August 10 that Mr Kerry stayed at the Lake Garden Hotel Nay Pyi Taw owned by sanctioned tycoon U Zaw Zaw and constructed by U Zaw Zaw’s company Max Myanmar, which also appears on the US sanctions list.

The spokesperson said that the US delegation was assigned the hotel by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and asked for the hotel to be changed when they became aware of the issue, but other accommodation could not be arranged.

“We recognised late the owner of the hotel assigned to us was on the list, but less problematic alternative hotels that also met our safety and security standards were not available,” the spokesperson told The Myanmar Times on August 13.

Mr Kerry, who was in Myanmar to for a round of ASEAN meetings, did not violate any US sanctions with his stay. The International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which details regulations for dealing with SDN Listed individuals and entities includes, “an exemption for activities related to travel, including hotel accommodations. This applies to the U.S. delegation’s use of the Lake Garden Hotel,” the spokesperson said.

During his visit, Mr Kerry touted the significance of what remains of his country’s sanctions regime against Myanmar on August 10, describing it as a sign that Washington is keen to avoid rushing its engagement with Nay Pyi Taw.

“Sanctions now are very much focused on members of the junta and on key individuals who may still be representing a challenge to achieving some of these [Myanmar’s] goals,” he told members of the media while speaking at the Lake Garden.

Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson at the State Department, was insistent that hotel stay did not send mixed messages about US sanctions against Myanmar when questioned by reporters in Washington.

The US has eased most of its sanctions against Myanmar in response to reforms undertaken by President U Thein Sein, but still maintains targeted sanctions against some individuals and companies as piece of its “calibrated” reengagement that has hinged in part on a commitment to responsible investment in Myanmar.

Most companies and persons that appear on the SDN list are alleged to have profited from close relationships with the previous military junta. Entities and individuals that are SDN listed are barred from engaging in business with US companies and their assets are frozen in the US. A number of Myanmar’s largest and best-known firms are on the list.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tom Malinowski, met with individuals who are on the SDN list during his visit to Myanmar in June. He said that many appeared “very eager” to take steps to have themselves and their companies removed from the list.

Mr Malinowski, who did not reveal which SDN-listed individuals he met during his trip, said the legal process for getting removed from the list includes demonstrating responsible business practices and showing that an individual or entity has cut ties with the military

The Lake Garden property where Mr Kerry and his delegation stayed is managed by French hotel chain Accor under its MGallery brand. Both U Zaw Zaw and his Max Myanmg group of companies were added to the Special Designated Nationals (SDN) list in 2009, according to the Treasury Department’s website.

Max Myanmar and Accor signed a contract to develop three properties in Myanmar, including the Lake Garden, in 2013. Two other properties connected to U Zaw Zaw – the Max Hotel at Chaungtha Beach and the Royal Kumudra Hotel in Nay Pyi Taw – are on the SDN list.

According to the Lake Garden website, the luxury property has 165 rooms and suites and boasts a cigar lounge and wine cellar. Rooms were advertised as starting at US$115 a night. It was unclear how many rooms the American delegation was occupying. Other US officials in Nay Pyi Taw for the regional meeting stayed at a separate hotel.”

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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 planned to sanction disbanded border security force, say activists”

July 23, 2013

Myanmar Times on July 22, 2013 released the following:

“By Bill O’Toole

Human rights groups say a controversial border security force that was disbanded last week was about to be sanctioned by the United States Treasury.

The decision to abolish the force, which is widely referred to as Na Sa Ka and has been accused of human rights abuses, was announced by the President’s Office in a statement on July 14. “It is hereby announced that Border Area Immigration Control Headquarters has been abolished,” the statement said, referring to the group by its official name.

The statement gave no reason for the decision and presidential spokesperson U Ye Htut declined requests for comment.

But human rights groups based both in and outside Myanmar have told The Myanmar Times that US sanctions against the security force were “imminent” and the decision to abolish the force was likely taken to stop the sanctions from being put in place.

“There were plans afoot in Washington to list the Na Sa Ka on the [Specially Designated Nationals] list maintained by the US Department of the Treasury,” said Phil Robertson, the Bangkok-based Asia director for Human Rights Watch.

“A decision on that was imminent and obviously Burmese leaders in Nay Pyi Taw learned about this and decided to cut their losses by scrapping the unit,” he said, adding that he had been told this by people “in the know” in Washington.

Matt Smith of Fortify Rights International said he was not absolutely certain what the US was planning but agreed that “Na Sa Ka was being looked at closely by the US Treasury due to its abusive record, and was on the verge of being sanctioned”.

“This and other factors undoubtedly influenced Thein Sein’s decision,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Treasury said he could not comment on possible Treasury actions.

Andrew Leahy, a public affairs officer at the US embassy in Yangon, also declined to comment on Treasury operations.

He did say, however, that “sanctions are certainly designed to hold people accountable. The reason they’re in place is to target people who hinder the reform process.”

The allegations raise the question of how the President’s Office learned of the planned sanctions.

In Washington, however, activists say the impending sanctions were relatively common knowledge. In February, rights groups pushed for the sanctioning of controversial government bodies like Na Sa Ka at a Congressional hearing on Myanmar.

“We know this was the discussion because we’ve been pushing sanctions for the Na Sa Ka and regional commanders [to the US Treasury Department],” said Jennifer Quigley, the Washington-based executive director of US Campaign for Burma.

As the recent decision to sanction Lieutenant General Thein Htay for his involvement in arms deals with North Korea shows, the US is more than willing to add new entities to its targeted SDN list even as it allows US companies to invest in and trade with Myanmar.

Na Sa Ka was a unique organisation that brought together officials from the departments of immigration and customs, as well as members of the military.

Its mandate was limited to securing the border with Bangladesh in northern Rakhine State.

Over the past year and a half, the 1200-strong force was implicated in communal violence in Rakhine State, particularly the persecution and exploitation of the Muslim Rohingya, who are commonly referred to as Bengalis in Myanmar.

Ms Quigley described Na Sa Ka as the most “violent and corrupt” armed body in Myanmar.

While sanctions against specific commanders are still possible under US law, several sources said they were concerned that the move to abolish the force would protect the Na Sa Ka from investigation for the alleged rights violations.

“U Thein Sein’s decision was based on … trying to short-circuit investigations of what the Na Sa Ka has done” and limiting public relations damage before his European trip, Mr Robertson said.

The 1200 members of Na Sa Ka have returned to their original organisations and a battalion of police have assumed the group’s duties along the border and at various checkpoints in northern Rakhine State.

It is not clear if the police will permanently take on this role and rights advocates expressed scepticism that the decision to abolish Na Sa Ka would lead to any improvements in the human rights situation in northern Rakhine State.

“In the absence of accountability, there is nothing to prevent the next security force from simply replicating Na Sa Ka’s abusive ways,” Mr Smith said.

Sittwe resident U Aung Win said he had not heard any reports of the police battalion engaging in the exploitation that Na Sa Ka was notorious for.

He said the most people were “very happy” to see Na Sa Ka disbanded, regardless of the motives behind the decision.”

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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 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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HSBC suspected of drug cartel links

August 27, 2012

The Irish Times on August 27, 2012 released the following:

“US PROSECUTORS investigating the movement of money by global banks suspect HSBC of laundering money for Mexican drug cartels and transferring money through its US subsidiary for sanctioned nations, including Iran, Sudan and North Korea.

The weight of the accusations could force HSBC, which has set aside $700 million (€560 million) to cover the cost of potential fines, to pay at least $1 billion to settle the inquiry, said authorities with knowledge of the investigation. This would make it the largest such settlement in history.

It comes as UniCredit, Italy’s biggest bank, said its HypoVereinsbank unit was being investigated by US authorities over possible violation of economic sanctions.

HypoVereinsbank “has been co-operating with investigations by the New York county district attorney’s office, the US department of justice and the US treasury department’s office of foreign assets control involving US-sanctioned persons and companies”, the Italian bank said in a statement yesterday.

The money-laundering accusations against HSBC so far are more extensive than the potential violation of US sanctions that is the focus of the investigations against other foreign banks, including Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank of Germany, BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole of France, and Royal Bank of Scotland, said the law enforcement authorities, who requested anonymity because the investigations are continuing.

“This case is not about HSBC complicity in money laundering,” a spokesman for HSBC said in a statement on Friday. “Rather, it’s about lax compliance standards that fell short of regulators’ expectations and our expectations, and we are absolutely committed to remedying what went wrong and learning from it.”

The other banks either declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment.

Anxious to resolve the investigation, HSBC reached out to federal prosecutors in July in hopes of securing a settlement by September, according to the law enforcement officials.

But a settlement in the next couple of weeks is highly unlikely, the officials said. – (New York Times service/Bloomberg)”

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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 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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Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficking Kingpin [SDNTK] Entries Added to OFAC’s SDN List on August 15, 2012

August 15, 2012

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:

ALMACEN PICIS, 3 Avenida 19-59, Local 14, Zona 1, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Registration ID 80617 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

ALQUILERES ROSSELL, Km 12.5 Carrertera Al Salvador, Santa Rosalia, Condominio La Laguna, Casa 1, Guatemala, Guatemala; Registration ID 388175 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

AUTO HOTEL PUNTO CERO, Kilometro 49.5 Carretera A El Salvador, Aldea El Cerinal, Barberena, Santa Rosa, Guatemala; Registration ID 404256 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

BODEGAS BANYOLAS, 14 Avenida 7-12 Zona 14, Centro Empresarial La Villa Bodega 23, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Registration ID 71152 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

BOUTIQUE MARLLORY, KM 54.5 Carretera Al Salvador, Santa Rosa, Barberena, Guatemala; Registration ID 159497A (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

BRODWAY COMMERCE INC., 17 Calle A 7-21, Zona 10, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Registration ID 60832 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

CABOMARZO, 3A Calle 3-46, Zona 2, Residenciales Valles De Maria, Villa Nueva, Guatemala; Registration ID 89276 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

CASA VOGUE, Km 14.1 Carretera El Salvador, Centro Comercial Paseo San Sebastian Local 92, Guatemala City, Guatemala [SDNTK].

CASTELLANOS CHACON, Christina Stetanel (a.k.a. “CHRISTA CASTELLANOS”); DOB 17 Jun 1991; nationality Guatemala; Passport 133374328 (Guatemala) (individual) [SDNTK].

CORPORACION DAIMEX S.A., 14 Avenida 7-12, Zona 14, Bodega No. 22, Empresarial La Villa, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Registration ID 36397 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

DE DEL PINAL, Maria Corina (a.k.a. SAENZ LEHNHOFF, Maria Corina; a.k.a. SAENZ LEHNHOFF, Maria Gabriela; a.k.a. SAENZ PINAL, Maria Corina); DOB 19 May 1965; POB Guatemala; nationality Guatemala; Passport 31486K (Guatemala) (individual) [SDNTK] Linked To: INMOBILIARIA DATEUS; Linked To: WALNUTHILL; Linked To: CABOMARZO; Linked To: GRUPO MPV; Linked To: DELPSA; Linked To: BRODWAY COMMERCE INC.; Linked To: CASA VOGUE.

DELPSA, 2 Calle 25-80, Zona 15, Vista Hermosa II, Apt. 800, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Registration ID 200766 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

DIGITAL SYS ADVISORS, 14 Avenida 7-12 Zona 14, Bodega 22, Empresarial La Villa, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Registration ID 68326 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

DISTRIBUIDORA ROSSELL, Calzada Roosevelt KM, 13 40-31, Zona 11, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Registration ID 388221 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

ESTRUCTURAS METALICAS, CIRCULARES Y ORTOGONALES (a.k.a. “EMCO”), Aldea El Durazno Lote 12 Kilometro 8.5, Antigua Ruta A San Pedro Ayampuc, Chinautla, Guatemala; Registration ID 45703 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

FARFAR, 14 Avenida 7-12 Zona 14, Bodega 22, Empresarial La Villa, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Registration ID 75563 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

FERNAPLAST, Km 12-5 Ruta Al Atlantico, Apto. A, Zona 18, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Registration ID 188919A (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

GRUPO MPV, Km 14.1 Carretera El Salvador, Centro Comercial Paseo San Sebastian Local 92, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Registration ID 55544 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

HACIENDA SANTA INES, 3 Avenida 13-46 Zona 1, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Registration ID 319945 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

HUERTAS Y HORTALIZAS, Lote 10 Aldea Las Vacas, Zona 16, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Registration ID 49720 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

IMPORTADORA BORRAYO LASMIBAT, 13 Av 26-49, San Jose Las Rosas Zona 8, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Registration ID 135027 [SDNTK].

INMOBILIARIA DATEUS, 1era Avenida 7-60, Zona 14, Apartamento 1602 Del Edificio Tadeus, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Registration ID 84101 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

INVERSIONES A&E, 8 Avenida 16-49 Zona 10, Edificio San Ignacio Apto. 2-A, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Registration ID 43339 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

OPERADORA CORPORATIVA DE NEGOCIOS (a.k.a. “OCN”), Diagnol 6 No. 16-01, Zona 10, Guatemala City, Guatemala [SDNTK].

SAENZ LEHNHOFF, Maria Corina (a.k.a. DE DEL PINAL, Maria Corina; a.k.a. SAENZ LEHNHOFF, Maria Gabriela; a.k.a. SAENZ PINAL, Maria Corina); DOB 19 May 1965; POB Guatemala; nationality Guatemala; Passport 31486K (Guatemala) (individual) [SDNTK] Linked To: INMOBILIARIA DATEUS; Linked To: WALNUTHILL; Linked To: CABOMARZO; Linked To: GRUPO MPV; Linked To: DELPSA; Linked To: BRODWAY COMMERCE INC.; Linked To: CASA VOGUE.

SAENZ LEHNHOFF, Maria Gabriela (a.k.a. DE DEL PINAL, Maria Corina; a.k.a. SAENZ LEHNHOFF, Maria Corina; a.k.a. SAENZ PINAL, Maria Corina); DOB 19 May 1965; POB Guatemala; nationality Guatemala; Passport 31486K (Guatemala) (individual) [SDNTK] Linked To: INMOBILIARIA DATEUS; Linked To: WALNUTHILL; Linked To: CABOMARZO; Linked To: GRUPO MPV; Linked To: DELPSA; Linked To: BRODWAY COMMERCE INC.; Linked To: CASA VOGUE.

SAENZ PINAL, Maria Corina (a.k.a. DE DEL PINAL, Maria Corina; a.k.a. SAENZ LEHNHOFF, Maria Corina; a.k.a. SAENZ LEHNHOFF, Maria Gabriela); DOB 19 May 1965; POB Guatemala; nationality Guatemala; Passport 31486K (Guatemala) (individual) [SDNTK] Linked To: INMOBILIARIA DATEUS; Linked To: WALNUTHILL; Linked To: CABOMARZO; Linked To: GRUPO MPV; Linked To: DELPSA; Linked To: BRODWAY COMMERCE INC.; Linked To: CASA VOGUE.

SISTEMAS CONSTRUCTORES (a.k.a. “SICONSA”), Lote 10, Aldea Las Vacas, Zona 16, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Registration ID 34279 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

WALNUTHILL, Diagnol 6 10-01, Zona 10, Centro Gerencial Las Margaritas, Torre II, Of. 301-B, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Registration ID 80886 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

“CHRISTA CASTELLANOS” (a.k.a. CASTELLANOS CHACON, Christina Stetanel); DOB 17 Jun 1991; nationality Guatemala; Passport 133374328 (Guatemala) (individual) [SDNTK].

“EMCO” (a.k.a. ESTRUCTURAS METALICAS, CIRCULARES Y ORTOGONALES), Aldea El Durazno Lote 12 Kilometro 8.5, Antigua Ruta A San Pedro Ayampuc, Chinautla, Guatemala; Registration ID 45703 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

“OCN” (a.k.a. OPERADORA CORPORATIVA DE NEGOCIOS), Diagnol 6 No. 16-01, Zona 10, Guatemala City, Guatemala [SDNTK].

“SICONSA” (a.k.a. SISTEMAS CONSTRUCTORES), Lote 10, Aldea Las Vacas, Zona 16, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Registration ID 34279 (Guatemala) [SDNTK].

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Treasury Applies Additional Sanctions to Guatemalan Drug Trafficking Operation

8/15/2012

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced the designation of two individuals and 24 entities with ties to previously-designated Guatemalan trafficker Marllory Dadiana Chacon Rossell or other designated individuals as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTs). 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 any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen.

The two individuals designated today are Guatemalan nationals Christina Stetanel Castellanos Chacon (a.k.a. Cristha Castellanos), who is Chacon Rossell’s daughter, and Maria Corina Saenz Lehnhoff (a.k.a. Maria Corina de Del Pinal). Both are responsible for laundering narcotics proceeds on behalf of Marllory Chacon Rossell. Among the 24 entities designated today are Auto Hotel Punto Cero, a hotel in Barberena, Guatemala; Sistemas Constructores, a construction company; Importadora Borrayo Lasmibat, an import-export company; Boutique Marllory, a clothing store and; Casa Vogue, a household items store.

“Targeting the corporate and financial network of Marllory Chacon and her associates is at the core of our efforts to degrade these dangerous drug trafficking organizations,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. “By designating additional elements of the Chacon Rossell network, OFAC continues to undermine the organization’s ability to launder narcotics proceeds.”

Marllory Dadiana Chacon Rossell leads a drug trafficking and money laundering organization based out of Guatemala with operations in Honduras and Panama that supplies Mexican drug cartels, including Los Zetas. OFAC designated Chacon Rossell as an SDNT in January 2012, along with three of her top associates, Jorge Andres Fernandez Carbajal, Hayron Eduardo Borrayo Lasmibat, and Mirza Silvana Hernandez De Borrayo, and four entities located in Guatemala and Panama. Chacon Rossell is responsible for transshipping thousands of kilograms of cocaine per month and is believed to launder tens of millions of U.S. dollars in narcotics proceeds each month.

OFAC coordinated with the Drug Enforcement Administration on this investigation. 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 1,100 individuals and entities pursuant to the Kingpin Act since June 2000.

“DEA and the Treasury Department are attacking drug trafficking organizations at every level, using the law enforcement tools necessary to dismantle the financial networks of these dangerous criminal groups,” said DEA Chief of Financial Operations John Arvanitis. “This organization’s ability to launder drug trafficking proceeds will be severely hindered as a result of this designation.”

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.

To view a chart of the Chacon Rossell affiliates, click here.”

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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 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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Standard Chartered agrees $340m settlement with US regulator over Iran

August 14, 2012

The Guardian on August 14, 2012 released the following:

“Chief executive Peter Sands under pressure after bank agrees to pay fine levied by New York department of financial services

[By] Jill Treanor

Standard Chartered has fended off threats by a New York regulator to revoke its banking licence for alleged breaches of US sanctions but chief executive Peter Sands is under intense pressure after the bank agreed to pay a $340m (£220m) despite insisting that it had committed only minor breaches of the rules.

Barely 24 hours before the bank was due to attend a hearing with the New York department of financial services (DFS), the regulator announced the surprise settlement which also includes the installation a monitor for at least two years to evaluate the bank’s risk controls. Inspectors from the DFS will be installed at the bank’s office in New York and the bank will “permanently install personnel” in New York solely to ensure it adheres to money laundering laws.

Benjamin Lawsky, the head of the DFS, who stunned Standard Chartered last week with damning allegations of sanctions breaches, had summoned the bank to appear at a hearing in New York at 10am local time on Wednesday. But the showdown was adjourned following the settlement, which was announced after the London market had closed.

Lawsky claims that Standard Chartered schemed to hide 60,000 transactions valued at about $250bn (£160bn) which breached sanctions with Iran. Sands admitted to only 300 breaches, with a much smaller value of about $14m.

Lawsky had said that he could withdraw the bank’s licence but has now dropped the threat, which analysts said could protect the share price on Wednesday. However, his statement announcing the settlement insisted that both sides had agreed that the “conduct at issue” covered $250bn – the full amount of his original order.

The size of the fine is considerably larger than the $5m that the bank had argued its breaches should require it to pay – although it may still rise as the DFS is only one of a number of authorities which has been investigating possible breaches.

Others authorities include the department of justice and the office of foreign assets control (Ofac). Standard Chartered has admitted since 2010 that it has been discussing potential sanctions breaches.

But the bank was unprepared for the decision by the DFS to publish its allegations while Sands was on holiday with his family. Investors’ fears that it could be stripped of its New York licence and possible resignations at the top of the bank sliced almost 25% off the bank’s share price. The shares have been clawing back the losses, ending on Tuesday at £13.70, nearly 3% higher, but still below the £16 levels from last week.

The loss of its banking licence would be more damaging than the fine, although Sands on Tuesday told the Business Standard paper in India – where the bank has a high street banking operation – that he did not believe the bank would be stripped of its ability to conduct business directly in the US.

“We hope we do not lose our licence, we don’t believe we should lose our licence and we don’t believe we will,” Sands said, adding the bank was planning for all possible outcomes.

Ian Gordon, banks analyst at Investec, said: “It has taken the nuclear option off the table and suggests the total settlement will be manageable.”

Sands joined the bank as finance director in 2002 so has been on the board through most of the 2001-2007 period covered by the allegations. He was appointed chief executive in November 2006 when he was replaced as finance director by Richard Meddings, who joined the bank four years earlier and was previously head of risk.

Meddings is the executive whom Lawsky claimed made a remark to a US-based Standard Chartered executive about “fucking Americans” when warned about the potential breaches of sanctions. Standard Chartered insists the remarks are inaccurate.

Lawsky also hit out against accountants Deloitte, which he said had drafted a “watered down version” of a report on the potential Iranian sanction breaches for Standard Chartered.

Joe Echevarria, chief executive of Deloitte, told Reuters that the allegations were “distortions of the facts”. “It’s an unfortunate choice of words that was pulled out of context,” Echevarria said.”

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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 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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Viktor Bout associates exploited flaws in international law, UN study finds

July 18, 2012

The Guardian on July 17, 2012 released the following:

“Two of the convicted arms dealer’s lieutenants nearly set up fresh gunrunning ring despite being under government watch

[By] Karen McVeigh in New York

Former associates of convicted international arms dealer Viktor Bout exploited loopholes to set up a global trafficking ring with their sights set on selling weapons to war-torn countries like Sudan, Somalia, Iran and possibly Syria, an investigation has revealed.

The report, by Kathi Lynn Austin, a former UN arms investigator and executive director of Conflict Awareness Project (Cap) shows how close two of Bout’s lieutenants came to establishing a fresh gunrunning network in the wake of his conviction last year, despite being under US government watch or subject to US sanctions.

At a press conference on Tuesday at the UN in New York, where representatives from 190 countries are midway through negotiations over the first Arms Trade Treaty, Austin said: “These brokers go to extreme lengths to reap profits form conflict, atrocity and UN sanctions-busting. As we speak, gunrunners are out there exploiting every loophole in a global arms trade that is out of control.”

The six-week investigation describes how “classic techniques” of illicit arms brokers were used including flags of convenience, money laundering and establishing multiple layers of “shell companies” to evade detection and accountability.

The investigation also uncovered new techniques, including a switch away from a previous reliance on aging Russian aircraft to predominately western passenger planes.

The men at the heart of the investigation are two Russians, Sergei Denisenko and Andrei Kosolapov, former associates of Bout, whose gunrunning networks enabled the flow of arms into African conflict including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, and Sudan.

It shows how, even with Bout in prison and US sanctions against them, they were able to circumvent laws and set up US business partners. Denisenko is on the US Special Designated Nationals (SDN) List enforced by the department of treasury, because of his past trafficking activities in Liberia, according to the report.

His SDN listing prohibits US companied dealing with him. Kosolapov is on the US Visas Viper list, a watch list used internationally by the state department to track known or suspected terrorists, according to the report titled Viktor Bout’s Gunrunning Sucessors: A Lethal Game of Catch Me if you Can.

Their plan was to lease a US-registered plane that could be used for arms transfers while flying under a Mauritian aviation certificate.

The report found that the Denisenko-Kosolapov partnership engaged a number of subcompanies and business partners including US, UK, Finnish and Mauritian companies.

One aircraft was located in Bangor, Maine. Human rights advocacy group Human Rights First said the report demonstrated gaps in implementation and enforcement of US sanction regimes.

Sadia Hameed, of Human Rights First, said: “Countries that may have more robust regulations, like the United States, are still unable to singlehandedly prevent illicit arms trafficking operations.”

She said more could have been done by the US to share information with their embassy in Mauritius about Denisenkio and Kosolapov and that it should do more to ensure SDN guidelines are followed by US companies.

“The fact that through Kathi Lynn Austin’s investigations she was able to uncover that they very nearly aquired a US-registered plane and that that plane was intended to service whatever the forward activities of the network were, points out gaps in due diligence of sanctions.”

A US company illegally provided parts and maintenance for the aircraft leased by the pair, according to the report and US pilots were lined up to fly it, which is also illegal.

In early July, the Mauritius Department of Civil Aviation denied the Denisenko-Kosalopov operations application for an Air Operation Certificate – which any plane needs to be able to fly, effectively stopping the operation.

“The multi-jurisdictional nature of arms trafficking rings is why we need a strong arms control, “said Austin. “The Mauritian government said, ‘How were we to know that this US individual was on a designated list?’ A strong arms control treaty would identify who the criminals are and who the traders are.”

In a statement, a spokesman for the US treasury department said: “Sergei (or Serguei) Denissenko was sanctioned by OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) for being involved in two of Bout’s front companies – San Air General Trading FZE (Ajman, UAE; Richardson, Texas) and also with Centrafricain Airlines. US firms are prohibited from doing business with him as with any other sanctioned parties. OFAC does not have an Andrei Kosolapov on its SDN list.”

Campaigners for arms control expressed concern that, after an opening week characterised by delays, international delegates still do not have the basis for negotiations on most of the key elements of the treaty. The optimistic view is that there will be a negotiating text by Wednesday.

The Arms Trade Treaty faces opposition from Egypt, Syria, Algeria, Iran, Cuba and North Korea. However, Russia, China, the UK, France and the US have issued some joint statements in support. The US would like to see ammunition removed from the treaty and wants to water down the rule on human rights.”

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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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AON faces US sanctions, fines, over Zim diamonds

June 6, 2012

ZimEye.org on June 6, 2012 released the following:

“By Gift Kugara

Harare(ZimEye)The world’s biggest insurance broker in sales, which is also a sponsor of Manchester United football club, AON Corporation, is currently faced with investigations over Zimbabwe’s so called ‘blood diamonds’, ZimEye can exclusively reveal.

There are reports that the company’s Zimbabwe arm of the broking group has already been warned by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) over its dealings with sanctioned Mbada Diamonds and is currently under discussion for possible breach of US laws.

Highly placed sources within the firm have confirmed that, just until recently, AON was the designated insurance broker for Mbada Diamonds.

The company’s Zimbabwe wing is partly owned by TA Holdings. TA Holdings has a 30% stake in Aon Zimbabwe, and TA Holdings has 33.8% owned by Masawara PLC, an investment firm based in the Channel Islands . TA Holdings has under its porfolio Aon Zimbabwe, Zimnat Life, Zimnat Lion Insurance, Grand Reinsurance Company, Lion Assurance Company and Botswana Insurance Company in its portfolio. AON Zimbabwe’s parent company is US owned although it recently moved its headquarters from Chicago to London.

In this view, AON Corporation, falls under the US jurisdiction and any violation of OFAC which administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes would result in huge fines.

Mbada Diamonds was listed on US sanctions last year as a result of its negative record on reported human rights abuses and links with ZANU (PF). When asked to comment, a US Embassy spokesperson (name withheld) in Harare stated that while Mbada remains under sanctions, any person or company under US jurisdiction which trades with Mbada is guilty of contravening US statutes.

“As a company controlled by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), Mbada Diamonds is subject to sanctions administered by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). In July 2008, following widespread political violence in Zimbabwe, OFAC added the state-owned ZMDC to its list of sanctioned entities. As a consequence, U.S. nationals may not do business with ZMDC or with companies in which ZMDC has significant ownership,” she said.

Contacted for comment, AON Zimbabwe Managing Director, Susan Mutangadura refused to answer on either whether a warning from OFAC was issued or that they conducted business with Mbada Diamonds in the past:

“Client confidentiality is an integral part of the way we do business with our clients, current and prospective. I am accordingly not able to issue a statement as requested,” She stated.

On the other hand Mbada Diamonds gave an unclear reply as their Public Relations officer and former Herald reporter, Mr Tafadzwa Chiremba, initially asked this reporter to reveal his sources and later replying stating:

“I hereby inform you that as Mbada Diamonds we are courteous to reveal our service providers to the public. This is so in view of protecting them from the purge of illegal sanctions that were slapped on our company by the US.”

Aon group is not new to controversy as it has been allegedly involved in corruption, bribes and human rights abuses in the past. In 2009, the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) fined the company a £5.25 million for anti-corruption failings, with the group’s UK subsidiary found guilty of failing to crack down on possible bribery. The FSA found the company had made “suspicious payments” worth £4.6m to people and firms overseas. In 2004, the company was singled out by a human rights organisation, Burma Campaign for allegedly “directly or indirectly helping to finance Burma’s brutal military dictatorship.”

In 2011, Aon is reported to have paid $100 Million in Penalties and Disgorgements for FCPA violations including more than $16 million in fines to settle charges that its subsidiaries bribed foreign government officials. (ZIMBABWE, ZimEye)”

————————————————————–

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 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 should not continue to insist on sanctions against Iran

May 24, 2012

Global Post on May 24, 2012 released the following:

“Mansour Salsabili

Editor’s note: The writer, Mansour Salsabili, is on leave from Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A senior political expert, he is a research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He participated in a number of efforts ranging from UN reforms to the Non-Aligned Movement. The views expressed are entirely his own.

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts — Continuing to insist on sanctions against Iran will produce a bad deal for America.

Why? Because this week Iran is putting on the table in Baghdad a number of concrete and tension-reducing offers in response to the earlier requests of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

These offers will have the strong support of Russia and China, and may attract positive votes from other European delegations as well. This will leave the US administration, which cannot force Congress to end sanctions, in the corner and in a passive position in any future talks.

In the second round of the current negotiation — between Iran and the five members of the UN Security Council plus Germany — any forward looking plan will need to be comprehensive, including all aspects of a final deal. However a comprehensive approach cannot be implemented in a single shot or in haste, but rather in a step-by-step process that produces concrete results for each step in turn. The final deal may commence from particular unresolved issues involving the Iranian nuclear program and then extend to more general questions of regional cooperation and even peace in the Middle East.

The success of the April 14 meeting in Istanbul between the six world powers and Iran was based on acceptance of the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a basic framework for the negotiation. The crucial point in this agreement is how to manage technical assurances to secure nonproliferation, without constraining Iran’s inalienable right to peaceful use of nuclear energy. This is possible only through mutual confidence building — something that was left in disarray in past efforts at negotiation.

The first way to secure mutual confidence is to avert confrontation to focus on collaboration: Cooperative and not confrontational behavior is needed to prepare a constructive, sustainable and encouraging environment. It is counter-productive to prejudge Iran as a proliferator and expect Tehran to cooperate. No one should expect Iran to sacrifice its sovereignty and its right to enrichment for peaceful nuclear uses in response to unsubstantiated allegations.

Here the vital task is clarifying and resolving in this case the inherent tension between the Non-Proliferation Treaty’s prohibition on proliferation and provision of the right to nuclear energy. This is not an easy job.

Concrete proposals need to be reciprocated to make progress not only possible, but also sustainable and irreversible. For this reason, the parties should address the issues that are most readily resolved first. A simultaneous swap of Iran’s stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium for a similar amount of fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor could come first, to reduce any concern about proliferation and to increase mutual confidence.

In exchange, new sanctions on Iran’s oil industry and Central Bank must be eased, or at least postponed, until the next round of negotiation to pave the way for the realization of future steps.

Clearing up questions about past Iranian nuclear activity is the most difficult issue at hand. Its resolution requires a lot of trust on both sides. Confidence building through transparency and supervision by the International Atomic Energy Agency should go along with respect for confidentiality.

This subject is particularly sensitive in Iran because of incidents such as the assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists during the past few years. Issues involving dual use technology are open to different interpretations, and must be treated as highly confidential. Resolution of these issues should come later in the process, as confidence increases.

In the meantime, fact-finding missions could continue to take place along the way as a step to verify that no previous military nuclear capability or undeclared facility in Iran now exists. To avoid prolonging such missions, let’s recall that other nuclear cases, such as Sweden’s, resolved with expanded additional protocol to secure the future rather than dig into the past.

”Every weapon is strongest before shooting,” is an old truism. Sanctions as the silver bullet of the West against Iran have already been fired and now it is time to compromise. Iran will adapt its economy and find its way around sanctions to gain access to the international community.

The passive US reaction to the current negotiations would result in a more polarized world and a loss to the United States and other struggling western economies as well.”

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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 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 defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

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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.”

————————————————————–

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 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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Obama announces sanctions for tech used in human rights abuses in Iran and Syria

April 23, 2012

Washington Post on April 23, 2012 released the following:

“President Obama issued an executive order Monday that allows U.S. officials for the first time to impose sanctions against foreign nationals found to have used new technologies, including cellphone tracking and Internet monitoring, to help carry out grave human rights abuses.

Social media and cellphone technology have been widely credited with helping democracy advocates organize against autocratic governments and better expose rights violations, most notably over the past year and a half in the Middle East and North Africa.

But authoritarian governments, particularly in Syria and Iran, have shown that their security services can also harness technology to help crack down on dissent — by conducting surveillance, blocking access to the Internet or tracking the movements of opposition figures.

Obama’s executive order, which he announced during a Monday speech at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, is an acknowledgment of those dangers and of the need to adapt American national security policy to a world being remade rapidly by technology, according to senior administration officials familiar with the plans. Although the order is designed to target companies and individuals assisting the governments of Iran and Syria, they said, future executive orders could name others aiding other countries through technology in crackdowns on dissent.

Under the order, the administration announced new sanctions, including a U.S. visa ban and financial restrictions, against a range of Syrian and Iranian agencies and individuals.

In Syria, the sanctions target the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate, the Syriatel phone company and Ali Mamluk, the director of Syria’s general intelligence services. In Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security, the Law Enforcement Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Datak Telecom will be subject to the new sanctions.

Speaking in solemn tones, Obama described the challenges of fulfilling the “never again” pledge in the 21st century, telling the audience, “We must tell our children about a crime unique in human history: the one and only Holocaust. … We must tell them how they died, but also how they lived.”

But, he added, “remembrance without action changes nothing.”

“In that sense, ‘never again’ is a challenge to us all,” he said.

Obama’s speech at the most visible U.S. symbol of Holocaust remembrance comes at a time when his policy toward Syria, where a government crackdown has killed thousands of civilians, is under sharp criticism from his Republican rivals for the presidency.

To demonstrate the priority he places on genocide prevention, Obama used the roughly 20-minute address to reveal that he has asked for the first-ever National Intelligence Estimate — the consensus view of all U.S. intelligence agencies — appraising the potential for mass killings in countries around the world and their implication for U.S. interests.

The president also announced a set of U.S. development “challenge” grants designed to encourage technology companies to develop new ways to help residents in countries vulnerable to mass killings better detect and quickly alert others to impending dangers. And he will unveil a high-level government panel to serve as a clearinghouse for real-time intelligence, policymaking and other issues related to mass killing.

“This unprecedented direction from the president, and the development of a comprehensive strategy, sends a clear message that we are committed to combating atrocities, an old threat that regularly takes grim and modern new forms,” said Samantha Power, the National Security Council’s senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights, who will serve as chairman of the Atrocities Prevention Board. The panel’s creation was announced in August.

Last year, Obama cited an imminent threat to Libya’s civilians to explain his decision to intervene militarily against longtime leader Moammar Gaddafi.

“To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and ­— more profoundly — our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are,” he said at the time.

In October, Obama dispatched 100 U.S. troops to Uganda and its neighbors to help the region’s governments hunt down Joseph Kony, the fanatical head of the Lord’s Resistance Army, notorious for its campaign of civilian slaughter and child kidnapping.

But Republicans and some human rights advocates have derided Obama’s policy in Syria as weak and pressed him to do more to stop the killings there.

Last week, echoing Obama’s own remarks on Libya delivered a year earlier, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said that “for the United States to sit by and watch this wanton massacre is a betrayal of everything that we stand for and believe in.”

Obama has called for the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and imposed a set of economic sanctions against his government. But Assad has ignored international pressure and kept up a brutal crackdown that human rights groups estimate has killed more than 11,000 people.

In some cases, Syrian security forces are using technology to track down the opposition movement’s leaders. Syrian officials may also have tracked satellite phones and computer addresses to locate a group of foreign journalists in February who were covering the siege of the city of Homs.

Two journalists were killed in an attack on a building where they were seeking shelter from government bombardment, among them Marie Colvin, an American working for the Sunday Times of London.

In his new executive order, Obama states that “the same GPS, satellite communications, mobile phone, and Internet technology employed by democracy activists across the Middle East and North Africa is being used against them by the regimes in Syria and Iran.”

The new steps are designed primarily to target companies explicitly aiding authoritarian governments with new technology that assists in civilian repression.

But senior administration officials say the measures should prompt all companies to think harder about how the technology they are providing to other countries might be employed and to take steps to ensure that it is not used in harmful ways.

“These technologies should be in place to empower citizens, not oppress them,” Obama said.

Obama’s visit to the memorial followed by a few days the official Holocaust Remembrance Day, and he used the first part of his speech to discuss the mass killing of Jews in Europe.

He recalled his visit to Buchenwald in June 2009, touring the former Nazi concentration camp on a still afternoon with Nobel Peace laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. Wiesel also accompanied him Monday at the museum, and in his remarks, Obama thanked him and all Holocaust survivors for “not giving up.”

“If you can believe,” he said, “then we can believe.”

Obama used the second part of his remarks to discuss the legacy of Rwanda and his efforts in Libya, Sudan and central Africa, Ivory Coast and other places where mass killings or the threat of them have drawn U.S. attention.

The new Atrocities Prevention Board is intended to elevate the issue further in his administration, officials say. It will comprise senior representatives from across the administration with the goal of helping “the U.S. government identify and address atrocity threats and oversee institutional changes that will make us more nimble and effective.”

The board will hold its first session Monday afternoon and plans to meet with as many as 200 representatives of the nongovernmental organizations, university chapters of anti-genocide groups and others involved in the issue.

“This is not an afterthought, this is not a sidelight of our foreign policy,” Obama said.“We’re going to institutionalize the focus on this issue.””

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