OFAC designates a judge and former state governor as Mexican cartel drug kingpins

Last week, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC“) designated several people associated with the most powerful drug cartel in Mexico, the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (meaning the new generation cartel of Jalisco), as drug kingpins.  Added to the drug kingpin sanctions list is a Mexican Judge, Isidro Avelar Gutierrez, who is believed to [...]

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 seeks money laundering forfeiture of a large cargo ship citing sanctions and correspondent banking violations

The US government unsealed a federal forfeiture complaint this week, seeking in rem forfeiture of a cargo ship that was used for sanctions avoidance to benefit North Korea which used US correspondent banks to engage in sanctions avoidance. The case has no tie to the US except for the use of correspondent banks and is [...]

OFAC releases framework for sanctions compliance

The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published a framework for sanctions compliance yesterday which describes the sanctions compliance program standards for US legal and natural persons and for US-origin goods or services. The framework mirrors the requirements for a competence AML program and includes: commitment from the top down in writing. creation [...]

Bitcoin for terrorist financing linked to an exchange

For years now, people in the digital currency space have expressed concern about digital currency exchanges and digital currencies being abused for terrorist financing. Another report, this time from researchers at BellingCat, have apparently traced the use of a digital currency exchange directly to a terrorist group. Terrorist financing is not only prohibited and a [...]

$15 million in heroin seized from Iranian truckers entering Bulgaria

The Bulgarian police have seized a transport truck from Iran attempting to cross the Bulgarian – Turkey border with 288 kilos of pure heroin, with a street value of $15 million at the low end. The heroin was dry-walled, meaning each brick of heroin was covered individually with drywalling material. According to the US 2019 [...]

Iran confirms supporting an ICO and several Blockchain projects

On Tuesday, Iranian officials spoke to the Iranian media and confirmed that a government organization – Iran Telecommunication Research Center – has 4 Blockchain projects in progress that have looked at using Blockchain for policy making, threat management and business use cases for Iran. Further, they announced that a project at Sharif University, funded by [...]

Iranian charged in €6.6 billion case with disrupting Iran’s economy by moving money for sanctions avoidance, immigrated to Canada

Updated 2019-04-14 Another Iranian in Canada alleged to owe millions to Iran Marjan Sheikholeslami, an Iranian foreign national, now living in Toronto, Canada, is alleged to have played a major part of a financial crime case with an Iranian petroleum executive, Reza Hamzehlou, and is on trial in absentia in Iran for disrupting Iran’s financial system [...]

Vancouver, Venezuela, Crypto

According to this article in Vancouver, a Vancouver based charity called GiveCrypto.org, is sending, transferring or donating (perhaps all 3), digital currencies from the US (via Coinbase, a digital currency exchange) to people in Venezuela. The article does not say who receives the digital currencies in Venezuela, how they receive it or how much they [...]