Featured Middle East

Torpedo: The Double Life of an Accused US-Albanian Drug Trafficker

By Besar Likmeta, Edmond Hoxhaj and Perparim Isufi, BIRN, 20 April 2021 BIRN – At first glance, Michigan resident Ylli Didani was a successful businessman with stakes in companies in the United States, Albania and Kosovo, where he enjoyed a business relationship with a former security aide… Read More

Report: Iran is a Major Transit Point for the Global Meth Trade

By David Klein, OCCRP, 15 April 2021 OCCRP — Iran’s role as a key node in the smuggling routes for methamphetamines from Central and South-East Asia to Europe has left the country with a significant drug problem, a recent EU report found. Read More

U.S., Iranian Nuclear Negotiators Look for Ways to Untie Sanctions Knot

Negotiators for the U.S. and Iran, working to revive an international deal aimed at restricting Tehran’s atomic ambitions, are looking for ways to untangle a knot of interlocking American sanctions in exchange for Tehran’s return to limits on its nuclear activities. After former President Trump pulled… Read More
16th April 2021
Denmark’s public prosecutor has charged three members of an Iranian Arab opposition group with financing and supporting terrorist activity in Iran and aiding Saudi intelligence services. “This is a very serious case, where people in Denmark have carried out illegal intelligence activities and financed and promoted terrorism from Denmark in… Read More
14th April 2021
From the British Virgin Islands to Geneva, Swiss prosecutors are tracking the suspected fund movements of Lebanon’s central bank chief Riad Salameh, a Swiss newspaper reported Tuesday. The Swiss attorney general’s office said in January it was investigating “aggravated money laundering… in connection with possible embezzlement to the detriment of”… Read More
14th April 2021
By Julett Pineda Sleinan, OCCRP, 13 April 2021 OCCRP — In a joint operation led by Interpol, police from 24 countries arrested 195 suspects of human trafficking and migrants smuggling and rescued 500 victims, including children, the international police organization said on Friday. Operation Weka… Read More
13th April 2021
The UK government has added Pakistan to the list of undesirable 21 high-risk countries with unsatisfactory money laundering and terrorist financing controls. This list of 21 countries — released by the UK Government — replicates the list of countries named by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as high-risk or… Read More
13th April 2021
HSBC and Huawei Technologies’ Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou have reached an agreement in a dispute about the publication of documents relating to U.S. fraud allegations against her, their lawyers told a Hong Kong court. The judge, Linda Chan, made court orders along the lines of the agreement, she said… Read More
13th April 2021
The European Union has imposed sanctions on eight Iranian militia commanders and police chiefs, including the head of the elite Revolutionary Guards, over a deadly crackdown in November 2019, the bloc said in its Official Journal on Monday. The travel bans and asset freezes are the first EU sanctions on… Read More
12th April 2021
The UAE Ministry of Economy announced the extension of the deadline granted to companies in the “specific non-financial business and professions” sector to register in government regulations approved for countering money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism until the end of April. The decision is due to the large… Read More
8th April 2021
The United States is prepared to remove sanctions on Iran to resume compliance with the Iran nuclear deal, including those that are inconsistent with the 2015 pact, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday, without providing details. By Humeyra Pamuk, Mohammad Zargham and Arshad Mohammed, Reuters, 7 April 2021 Read… Read More
7th April 2021
By Lara Dihmis and Tom Stocks, OCCRP, 7 April 2021 OCCRP —  British MP and anti-corruption advocate Margaret Hodge reported Lebanon’s central bank governor Riad Salame and his associates to the U.K. National Crime Agency (NCA) for money laundering and corrupt practices. Hodge’s cabinet confirmed to… Read More
7th April 2021
U.S. prosecutors said on Tuesday they charged the president of a New York cosmetics company for his alleged involvement in a conspiracy to violate U.S. economic sanctions on Iran. Michael Rose, president of Forsythe Cosmetics Group LLC, is accused of skirting U.S. sanctions between 2015 and 2018 by arranging for… Read More