The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed sanctions on the Altaf Khanani Money Laundering Organisation (Khanani MLO).
According to OFAC, the transnational Khanani MLO launders illicit funds for organised crime groups, drug trafficking organisations, and designated terrorist groups throughout the world.
Additionally, OFAC is imposing sanctions on Dubai-based money services business, Al Zarooni Exchange, for being owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Khanani MLO.
The Dubai-based outfit is accused of materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the Khanani MLO.
As a result of the sanctions, any property in the US, or in the possession or control of US persons, in which the Khanani MLO or Al Zarooni Exchange has an interest, are blocked, and US persons are prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.
This is the first time OFAC has targeted a professional money laundering network under Executive Order 13581 which allows the US Treasury to block the property of transnational criminal organisations (TCOs).
According to OFAC, the Khanani MLO is a TCO composed of individuals and entities operating under the supervision of Pakistani national Altaf Khanani, who was arrested in September by the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
The Khanani MLO facilitates illicit money movement between Pakistan, UAE, US, UK, Canada, Australia, and other countries, and is responsible for laundering billions of dollars in organised crime proceeds annually an OFAC statement says.
Criminal and terrorist associations
The TCO offers money laundering services to a diverse clientele, including Chinese, Colombian, and Mexican organised crime groups and individuals associated with Hezballah according to OFAC.
It says the head of the Khanani MLO, Altaf Khanani, and Al Zarooni Exchange have been involved in the movement of funds for the Taliban while Altaf Khanani is known to have had relationships with Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Dawood Ibrahim, al-Qaeda, and Jaish-e-Mohammed.
The full OFAC statement can be found here.
For identifying information regarding the individuals designated, click here.
Executive Order 13581 can be found here.
Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News