Analysis & Commentary - Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance

Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance Media

12th January 2018 – FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance Research Memo

Bitcoin Laundering: An Analysis of Illicit Flows into Digital Currency Services

Yaya J. Fanusie

Bitcoin gambling sites, “mixers” and European Bitcoin exchange may be the destinations of choice for criminals looking to launder bitcoins, according to a study issued today by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ (FDD) Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF) and cryptocurrency analytics firm Elliptic. more...

6th December 2017 – Quoted by Kyra Gurney - The Miami Herald

In Washington, Venezuela’s plan to create a ‘Bitcoin’ seen as a sign of desperation

Yaya J. Fanusie

Venezuela’s announcement that it plans to launch a national crypto-currency to evade U.S. sanctions has been met with skepticism in Washington, where lawmakers see the proposal as a sign of the regime’s increasing desperation. more...

6th December 2017 – Quoted by Javier E. David - CNBC

Al Qaeda’s arm in N. Africa has made around $100 million through ransom and drug trading, study says

Yaya J. Fanusie, Alex Entz

An affiliate of al-Qaeda that has executed several attacks across Africa — and is considered the organization's wealthiest branch — is sitting on millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains that help fund its deadly activities across the region, a new report said. more...

1st December 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

U.S. Calls for Oil Ban and Complete Diplomatic Isolation of North Korea

Anthony Ruggiero, Mathew Ha

The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting Wednesday following North Korea’s third intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the thirteenth meeting of the Security Council this year. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called for the body to isolate Pyongyang and increase pressure on it, by banning the sale of oil to North Korea and severing all diplomatic ties. more...

30th November 2017 – Quoted by Nirmal Ghosh - Straits Times

As time runs out, analysts doubt harsher sanctions can stop Pyongyang

Anthony Ruggiero

The United States has responded to North Korea's third test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, its most powerful yet, with a call for all nations to cut off diplomatic and trade ties with Pyongyang. more...

30th November 2017 – Quoted by Daniel Shane - CNN Money

North Korea’s economy: What’s left for Trump to sanction?

Anthony Ruggiero

President Trump says he's getting ready to turn up the heat on North Korea again. But after a heavy clampdown on Kim Jong Un's regime this year, what options are left? more...

29th November 2017 – Fox News

It’s time to ramp up the pressure on North Korea and China after latest missile test

Anthony Ruggiero

North Korea’s third successful launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile Wednesday should prompt President Trump to quicken the pace of his policy of putting “maximum pressure” on the North to give up its nuclear weapons. more...

28th November 2017 – Citado por Ultima Hora

Impuesto al tabaco: “Están defendiendo los negocios de Cartes”

Emanuele Ottolenghi

La senadora por el Frente Guasu Esperanza Martínez lamentó la ausencia de sus colegas oficialistas para dictaminar el proyecto que pretende aumentar el impuesto al tabaco. Dijo que están defendiendo los negocios del presidente Horacio Cartes. more...

26th November 2017 – The Hill

Hezbollah drug trafficking should spur Trump to appoint DEA head

Emanuele Ottolenghi

The new DEA administrator should have a clear vision for addressing the international dimension of the drug crisis, as well as the wreckage at home. In particular, the president should choose a DEA chief who not only understands the complex and global nature of drug cartels but is also cognizant of the growing convergence between transnational organized crime and terrorist groups like Hezbollah. more...

24th November 2017 – Quoted by Oren Dorell - USA Today

North Korean economy keeps humming despite ever-tighter sanctions

Anthony Ruggiero

Despite years of ever-tighter international sanctions, North Korea's economy has proven resilient and seems to have fended off the suffering President Trump has sought to halt the country's nuclear program. more...

22nd November 2017 – Quoted by Hamish Macdonald - NK News

North Korea responds to state sponsor of terrorism listing

Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls SSOT listing a "provocation," vows to hold onto nuclear weapons. more...

22nd November 2017 – FDD's Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance Policy Brief

Congress Supports Financial Transparency for Iranian Transactions

Annie Fixler , Tyler Stapleton

The House Financial Services Committee approved last week the Strengthening Oversight of Iran’s Access to Finance Act, which codifies in law a set of conditions that the U.S. Treasury must use to evaluate licenses for the sale of commercial aircraft to Iran. more...

21st November 2017 – Quoted by Iran Focus

US Exposes Iranian Counterfeit Ring

Behnam Ben Taleblu

American officials have exposed a “large-scale” counterfeiting ring, orchestrated by the Iranian Regime, which was sophisticated enough to fool European regulators, on Monday, November 20. more...

21st November 2017 – Quoted by Jesse Johnson - The Japan Times

U.S. relisting of North Korea as state sponsor of terror seen as symbolic step with limited impact

Anthony Ruggiero

The decision by the United States to relist North Korea’s “murderous regime” as a state sponsor of terrorism hands Washington and Tokyo a symbolic victory, but will do little to solve the nuclear crisis roiling the Korean Peninsula, experts say. more...

21st November 2017 – Quoted by Joel Schectman and David Brunnstrom - Reuters

U.S. sanctions 13 Chinese and North Korean organizations

Anthony Ruggiero

The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on 13 Chinese and North Korean organizations Washington accused of helping evade nuclear restrictions against Pyongyang and supporting the country through trade of commodities like coal. more...

21st November 2017 – Quoted by Leandra Bernstein - Sinclair Broadcasting Group

‘Maximum pressure’: Trump sanctions North Korea, China after state visit

Anthony Ruggiero

President Donald Trump ratcheted up his administration's "maximum pressure campaign" this week by re-designating North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism and imposing new economic sanctions on four Chinese shipping companies and over a dozen North Korean entities and shipping vessels. The timing of the penalties is significant, falling on the heels of Trump's visit to Beijing and a high-level Chinese visit to Pyongyang. more...

20th November 2017 – Quoted by Ian Talley - The Wall Street Journal

U.S. Treasury Sanctions ‘Large-Scale’ Iran Counterfeiting Ring

Behnam Ben Taleblu

The Trump administration on Monday imposed sanctions on what the Treasury Department describes as a “large-scale” Iranian counterfeiting ring that it says is run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars. more...

20th November 2017 – Quoted by Jackie Northam - NPR

U.S. To Impose More Sanctions On North Korea, But How Effective Will They Be?

Anthony Ruggiero

When President Trump announced Monday that the U.S. intends to designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, he said the U.S. will also announce the imposition of additional sanctions on Pyongyang. more...

20th November 2017 – Quoted by Jeff Seldin - VOA News

US Targets Iranian Counterfeit Scheme in Yemen

Behnam Ben Taleblu

U.S. officials are spotlighting Iran’s efforts to spread its influence across the Middle East with what they describe as a “large-scale” counterfeiting operation, sophisticated enough to fool some European regulators. more...

20th November 2017 – Quoted by Matthew Pennington and Zeke Miller - The Associated Press

President Trump Declares North Korea a State Sponsor of Terror

Anthony Ruggiero

President Donald Trump announced Monday the U.S. is putting North Korea’s “murderous regime” on America’s terrorism blacklist, despite questions about Pyongyang’s support for international attacks beyond the assassination of its leader’s half brother in February. more...

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