The EU investigation into the use of wind farms to launder proceeds of crime widened today with several police raids in Austria and Germany, including a raid on the offices of the state-owned bank, HSH Nordbank. The Nordbank financed several wind farms, including one in Calabria, Italy, alleged to have been erected and operated as a money laundering front for the ‘Ndrangheta mafia. The bank is not alleged to be implicated in the investigation.
In 2008, the U.S. Department of the Treasure added the ‘Ndrangheta to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC“) Specially Designated Nationals list. As a result, “U.S. Persons” are prohibited from dealing with, or trading the property of the ‘Ndrangheta, including cash, securities and other property. A U.S. Person for the purposes of OFAC includes U.S. citizens; permanent resident aliens; corporate entities (including associations, firms and JVs) located in the U.S. (incorporated, registered or located there); foreign branches of U.S. entries; and in some cases, subsidiaries of U.S. entities. A foreign entity with a U.S. office or with a U.S. subsidiary, is a U.S. Person for OFAC purposes and it must not complete transactions involving property of the ‘Ndrangheta.