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Vessel identity laundering: an emerging threat to maritime trade

Criminals are fraudulently obtaining vessel registration numbers to evade sanctions on maritime trade, researchers say, warning that illicit export operations are becoming “significantly more sophisticated”. C4ADS, a non-profit organisation focused on transnational security issues, says it has identified multiple cases where the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has been deceived into… Read More

Iranian fuel tanker heading for Syria poses test for US sanctions

An Iranian tanker carrying fuel bound for Lebanon was at anchor in the Red Sea on Friday ahead of the final leg of a voyage to Syria, which is set to pose the biggest test yet to US sanctions imposed on two arch regional foes. The tanker is expected… Read More

Guatemala starts probe into bribery allegations linked to president

Prosecutors in Guatemala have begun an investigation into allegations that Russian businessmen paid a bribe to President Alejandro Giammattei to obtain a dock in one of the country’s main ports, the attorney general’s office said on Friday. Juan Luis Pantaleon, spokesman for the Guatemalan attorney general’s office, said anti-corruption prosecutors… Read More
30th August 2021
The leader of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, said on Friday a third vessel of Iranian fuel was agreed to ease crippling shortages in the country. “We have agreed to start loading a third vessel,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech. “The coming days will prove those doubtful… Read More
30th August 2021
Montenegro police said on Friday they had seized more than a tonne of cocaine, their biggest ever drug bust, concealed in a shipment of bananas and that two people were arrested. The raid was carried out in Mojanovici, a suburb of the capital Podgorica in the tiny Adriatic country, the… Read More
25th August 2021
With U.S. sanctions spooking key oil buyers and depriving its government of cash, Venezuela last year inked a deal with a little-known local company to swap crude for food, Reuters has learned. That agreement saw state oil company PDVSA, beginning in December 2020, deliver more than 6 million barrels of… Read More
24th August 2021
The misuse of the trade system, in a scheme known as trade-based money laundering is one of the principal methods by which money launderers move money for the purpose of disguising its origins and integrating it into the formal economy. Trade-based money laundering can take place on both a domestic… Read More
20th August 2021
Spain is a second home to many criminal groups, in particular the Italian mafia. The recent arrests of two mafia bosses highlight this trend. At the beginning of August, Domenico Paviglianiti, a high-ranking member of the ‘Ndrangheta mafia group, was arrested in Madrid, where he had been hiding after… Read More
18th August 2021
Interpol has at Mexico’s request issued an international arrest warrant for Miguel Aleman, co-founder of budget airline Interjet, on criminal tax fraud charges, according to government sources and Mexican media. Last month, prosecutors issued a national arrest warrant for Aleman, the grandson of a former president and the son of… Read More
16th August 2021
The United States imposed sanctions on an Omani businessman and companies linked to him over allegations of involvement in an oil-smuggling network that supports Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC-QF). The measures, announced on Friday, come as talks to revive the nuclear deal between Iran and… Read More
6th August 2021
By Cecilia Anesi, Margherita Bettoni and Giulio Rubino, OCCRP, 5 August 2021 OCCRP — In his younger years, the Italian drug trafficker Giuseppe Romeo, known as “Maluferru,” was fascinated with Mexican narcos. In particular, police sources familiar with the trafficker say, he admired Los Zetas, the hyper-violent cartel… Read More
5th August 2021
By David Klein, OCCRP, 4 August 2021 OCCRP — Organized criminal groups may be looking to exploit furloughed border workers who could provide information about the border to them in exchange for money, the UK’s National Crime Agency warned in an alert last week. “Life has… Read More
30th July 2021
The U.S. is reportedly planning to issue sanctions targeting Iran’s drone and guided missile programs, with officials citing potential threats to U.S. national security. The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the planned actions are aimed at disrupting the development of Iran’s… Read More