Treasury Designates Alleged Members And Supporters of Transnational Criminal Organizations

July 24, 2013

The U.S. Department of the Treasury on July 24, 2013 released the following:

“New Sanctions Announced Against the Camorra and the Brothers’ Circle

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated five members of the Italian Camorra, including the mob boss Marco Di Lauro and the fugitive Mario Riccio, as well as two businesses linked to individuals acting on behalf of a key member of the Brothers’ Circle, a large multi-ethnic Eurasian criminal network. These Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) continue to use various methods to conceal the proceeds earned from their illicit activities and maintain access to the international financial system. Today’s actions are the latest in the Treasury Department’s use of executive authorities to expose, undermine, and disrupt these criminal activities which include: money laundering, extortion, drug trafficking, kidnapping and counterfeiting.

“Today’s action against key members of criminal organizations that engage in serious crimes around the world is a continuation of our systematic effort to expose and disrupt these dangerous groups and protect the U.S. financial system from their illicit activity,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen.

President Obama identified the Camorra, and the Brothers’ Circle, along with the Yakuza and the Zetas, as significant TCOs in the Annex to Executive Order (E.O.) 13581 (Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations) in July 2011, and he charged the Treasury Department with pursuing additional sanctions against their members and supporters to undermine and interdict their global criminal operations.

Today’s action freezes any assets these individuals and businesses may have within the jurisdiction of the United States and generally prohibits any transactions with them by U.S. persons. To date, the Treasury Department has designated 34 individuals and entities related to TCOs and has exposed their activity ranging from Europe to Asia to the Middle East. Treasury will continue to target additional members and supporters of these groups, as well as identify other significant TCOs, such as MS-13 which was named in October 2012, in order to expose and disrupt their criminal operations and protect the U.S. financial system from abuse.

The Camorra

The Camorra operates internationally and is involved in serious criminal activity, such as money laundering, extortion, alien smuggling, robbery, blackmail, kidnapping, political corruption, and counterfeiting. Italian law enforcement has conducted multiple operations this year to seize Camorra assets, including a single-day seizure of 450 million euros from the Casalesi clan in June. To date, Treasury has designated nine individuals affiliated with the Camorra under E.O. 13581.

The Camorra members designated today have all played a role in the recent inter-clan violence that has wreaked havoc on northern Naples. In October 2012, all five were identified by Italian authorities as involved in the murder of a bystander to the feud. Marco Di Lauro has been on Italy’s Most Wanted List since 2004 for mafia-related activities. Mario Riccio is involved in a drug trafficking business that nets tens of millions of euros every year. Until his capture in January, Antonio Mennetta was in charge of a group responsible for assassinating enemies of a young splinter clan supported by Di Lauro, the “Vanella Grassi” or “Girati”. Mariano Abete, also currently in jail, was arrested for mafia associated activity and conspiracy to deal drugs. Rosario Guarino, implicated in a dozen murders, was arrested in November 2012 for mafia associated activities and drug trafficking. Each of these five individuals were designated for acting for or on behalf of, or providing material support to, the Camorra.

The Brothers’ Circle

The Brothers’ Circle is a multi-ethnic criminal group composed of leaders and senior members of several Eurasian criminal groups largely based in countries of the former Soviet Union but extending to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. To date, Treasury has designated 16 individuals connected with the Brothers’ Circle, including both Brothers’ Circle members and their subordinates, under E.O. 13581. These designated individuals include key member Vladislav Leontyev, as well as two individuals acting for or on his behalf, Aleksandr Manuylov and Lazar Shaybazian. Leontyev, Manuylov, and Shaybazian were designated by Treasury in February 2012. Today, Treasury is taking action against the companies Avuar OOO and Guga Arm SRO because they are owned or controlled by Aleksandr Manuylov and Lazar Shaybazian, respectively. Aleksandr Manuylov is the sole director of Avuar OOO while Lazar Shaybazian is the director, sole board member, and 100 percent owner of Guga Arm SRO.

Identifying Information:

Name: Di Lauro, Marco
DOB: 16 June 1980
POB: Naples, Italy

Name: Riccio, Mario
AKA: Riccio, Mariano
DOB: 28 June 1991
POB: Mugnano di Napoli, Italy

Name: Mennetta, Antonio
DOB: 3 January 1985
POB: Naples, Italy

Name: Abete, Mariano
DOB: 3 April 1991
POB: Naples, Italy

Name: Guarino, Rosario
DOB: 26 June 1983
POB: Naples, Italy

Name: Avuar OOO
AKA: Avuar LLC
Address: 12/120, Komn 51, Ulitsa Demokraticheskaya, Samara 443031, Russia
National ID No.: 1036300456213 (Russia)
alt. National ID No.: 14565711 (Russia)
alt. National ID No.: 6315565439 (Russia)

Name: Guga Arm SRO
AKA: Guga Arm LTD
Address: Dr. Davida Bechera 907/27, Karlovy Vary 36001, Czech Republic
National ID No.: 27994783 (Czech Republic)”

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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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U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Sanctions Alleged Guatemalan Drug Trafficker with Zetas Ties

April 11, 2012

Fox News Latino on April 10, 2012 released the following:

“Treasury Dept. Sanctions Guatemalan Drug Trafficker with Zetas Ties

By Andrew O’Reilly

A Guatemalan man with suspected ties to Mexico’s Los Zetas cartel has been designated by the Treasury Department as a narcotics trafficker, the agency announced Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Horst Walter Overdick Mejia, allegedly a critical link between Colombian drug producers and the Los Zetas cartel, as a major drug trafficking target and, under the Kingpin Act, is now prohibited with doing any business with U.S. citizens.

The act also freezes any assets Overdick Mejia may have in the United States.

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

Early last week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York unsealed an indictment for Overdick Mejia’s drug trafficking and firearms activities, with Guatemalan authorities arresting him on April 3.

Believed to run a major drug trafficking and money laundering organization in Guatemala, Overdick Mejia is suspected to have used his experience as a spice buyer, his local contacts and his business insight to smuggle thousands of kilograms of cocaine into Mexico and the United States.

“Overdick Mejia was a vital link between Colombian drug producers and Mexican cartels such as Los Zetas. This case is yet another example of the united front that law enforcement and regulators must utilize to ensure that organizations such as this one are put out of business forever,” said DEA Chief of Financial Operations John Arvanitis in a press release.

Overdick Mejia is believed to have brought the Zetas to Guatemala in 2008 to eliminate a rival trafficker and is now suspected to be the Mexican cartel’s most important ally in the Central American nation.

Guatemala has become a hotbed for drug-related violence as authorities in Mexico crackdown on the cartels operating in the country. The Zetas have been described by the DEA as perhaps “the most technologically advanced, sophisticated and violent of these paramilitary enforcement groups.”

“It might not be an exaggeration to say the Zetas are among the most vicious drug cartel to ever emerge. Not only have they been able to establish drug-trafficking routes through Guatemala and Nicaragua into Mexico,” The security website InSightCrime.org wrote. “But recent reports indicate that they may have co-opted a cocaine trafficking route via Venezuela-West Africa into Europe, representing yet another lucrative market for the organization.”

The Associated Press also reported last week that the Zetas had made an alliance in Guatemala with the Mara Salvatrucha gang. More commonly known as MS-13, Mara Salvatrucha was originally founded in the 1990s by gang members in southern California and quickly spread throughout Central America when the members were deported.

According to the news service, secret jailhouse recording and a turncoat kidnapper have described a pact between leaders of the Maras and the Zetas.

Eduardo Velasco, head of a Guatemala’s Interior Ministry task force on organized crime, told the AP that local authorities believed the Maras’ training by the Zetas has led to an increase brutality, planning, organization and firepower of Maras’ operations in the country.

“As a result of this union with the Zetas, the Mara Salvatrucha have more ability to organize, strategize and maneuver,” Velasco said. “The Mara Salvatrucha want to build up their inventory of long-range weapons, grenades and drugs for their own use and for sale … they know the economic benefit is great for them and that the Zetas, as an outside group, need the Maras’ network in order to grow inside Guatemala.””

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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.