Q & A on White House sanctions over technology from foreign adversaries

Last Wednesday, the White House issued an executive order (the “Order“) under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1701, the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1601, and §301 of Title 3 of the United States Code, prohibiting transactions of hardware, software or other products or services that enable information processing, data processing, data storage, data retrieval or electronic communications [...]

France & Spain go after Syrian PEP, the Butcher of Hama’s $1 billion in unexplained wealth

Rifaat al-Assad, the uncle of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, is facing permanent asset forfeiture in France in connection with unexplained wealth and asset accumulation in France. He was charged in France last month with corruption, money laundering and embezzlement of state assets from Syria. He was ordered to remain in France. He is a politically exposed [...]

US Issues sanctions against Venezuela’s ICO – the Petro Coin

Executive Order  President Trump issued an Executive Order imposing economic sanction on the initial coin offering (“ICO“) by the Government of Venezuela, called the Petro coin (the “Petro ICO“). The Executive Order makes it illegal to engage in transactions, dealings or financings in connection with the Petro ICO, which would include buying, selling, trading, marketing, [...]

US indicts foreign national for laundering money from Iran through Canada, US, Korea and parking it in expensive real estate

The US federal government has filed an indictment against a foreign national, Kenneth Zong, who resided in the US for allegedly laundering over $1 billion from Iran through Canada, the US and a number of other countries in violation of international sanctions law that prohibit providing financial services to Iranian foreign nationals in Iran and [...]

Summary of the 2016 US Threat Assessment

The Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community (the “Report“) prepared by the Director of National Intelligence on February 9, 2016, is a very interesting read from a counter-terrorism perspective, and essential reading for any bank in respect of assessing client and regional risks. Generally, the Report is dead on in respect of the [...]

US approves law limiting access to the US for people who visited or are from Iran, Iraq, Syria & Sudan

A “Terrorist Risk” Following the terrorist attack in San Bernadino on December 2, 2015, an 11-month-old relatively dormant bill to amend an American law to impose visa restrictions on select foreign nationals entering the US gained traction when it was rapidly enacted in the US. US Bill H.R. 158, the Visa Waiver Program Improvement Act [...]

In 2015, more countries become terrorist hotspots; Canada moves up ranks to become 35th in terrorism threat index; US moves up to 17th place

US and Canada move up on the terrorism threat index 2014 and thus far in 2015, have been marked by a dramatic increase in terrorist incidents and in the number of countries that have been pulled into terrorist activity and for which financial institutions have been used for terrorist financing. Western countries are becoming less [...]

Defector from UK to Islamic State releases e-book that sheds some light on trade-based terrorist financing

Ebook on ISIS An ISIS defector from the UK has published an e-book called “A Brief Guide to the Islamic State” (2015 Edition) that is posted on a popular social media site used by ISIS to publish propaganda, called Internet Archive. The Guide is consistent with ISIS terrorist propaganda messages: it gives information on life [...]

Sanctions world first ~ US imposes sanctions against North Koreans for private sector and over cyberhack incident

Economic sanctions ordered Today, the US announced it is imposing economic sanctions against certain individuals  and entities in North Korea over the Sony cyberhack. The so-called Sony sanctions appears to represent the first time in history that sanctions have been imposed (a) solely in response for, or over a, private sector dispute / issue; and [...]