The U.S. Department of the Treasury has designated two money services businesses in Afghanistan, the New Ansari Money Exchange (and its alleged founder Haji Abdullah Ansari) and the Ahmad Shah Money Exchange (and its alleged owner Ahmad Shah Hakimi), as major money laundering vehicles that facilitate the trafficking of drugs out of Afghanistan.
The designation is made under the U.S. Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. The U.S. Treasury believes that the New Ansari Money Exchange laundered proceeds of crime for two major drug trafficking organizations that supply opium, morphine and heroin to marketsÂ in Southwest Asia and the Middle East. Several people associated with the money services businesses were also blacklisted for their role in helping to move billions of dollars out of Afghanistan to “conceal illicit narcotics proceeds,” the Treasury Department said in a statement. The designation effectively freezes any assets the designees have in the U.S. and prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with persons and entities designated under the Kingpin Act.
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