Featured Middle East

Iran Struggling to Pry Trapped Billions From South Korean Banks

South Korean banks wary of U.S. sanctions are holding tight to billions of dollars of Iranian funds, Iran says, apparently unwilling to budge before Joe Biden assumes the U.S. presidency. The banks won’t release $7 billion of payments for Iranian oil that are stuck in won-denominated deposits in South Korea,… Read More

Trump Administration Imposed More Postelection Sanctions Than Recent Administrations

The Trump administration issued a flurry of sanctions after Election Day, a move that could complicate foreign policy for the Biden administration, sanctions policy observers said. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced 307 designations of blacklisted individuals and entities between Nov. 3 and Tuesday, the last… Read More

Aussie banks laundered $500m for cocaine cartels

Australian banks washed $500 million for violent South American cocaine cartels in a sophisticated money-laundering scheme, with the proceeds of crime moving through multiple countries before it was disrupted by Australian law enforcement. Between 2014 and 2017 more than $100 million in drug money was funnelled through Australian banks each… Read More
20th January 2021
Swiss authorities have opened an investigation into money transfers by Lebanon’s Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh, a Lebanese government official told Reuters on Tuesday. Salameh denied any wrongdoing. “Both the prime minister and the president are in the loop” on the inquiry which is also looking into Salameh’s brother and… Read More
20th January 2021
The Kuwaiti government has kept six gold companies under close scrutiny on suspicion of money laundering, after their businesses ballooned in the last three years, local media reported. Official sources told Al Rai newspaper that the Trade Ministery, during its audit of activities, discovered that there were gold companies that… Read More
19th January 2021
The European Union has set out plans to strengthen the international role of the euro, as its seeks to erode the dominance on the U.S. dollar and lessen the bloc’s vulnerability to financial risks, including U.S. sanctions. The plan includes measures to help protect against currency shocks, and allow greater… Read More
19th January 2021
The company that bought the ammonium nitrate which exploded in Beirut last August had possible links to two Syrian businessmen under U.S. sanctions for ties to President Bashar al-Assad, according to a report by a Lebanese journalist and London company filings. Savaro Ltd, the trading firm which procured the chemicals… Read More
19th January 2021
Danish prosecutors who charged hedge-fund manager Sanjay Shah with running a $1.6 billion tax fraud say they’re looking at a “number of other suspects” in the case. Prosecutors said they’ll be in a position by March to decide whether to press charges against more members of a network that they… Read More
19th January 2021
Iran’s central bank criticized a European Union payment channel designed to allow European companies to avoid U.S. sanctions, portraying it as useless and saying Iran won’t be diverting resources to it. European governments have “no idea” how to finance the conduit set up two years ago,… Read More
18th January 2021
The bribery scandal at Petrofac deepened last night when a former senior executive at the oil services group pleaded guilty to three offences related to $3.3 billion of work that it secured in the United Arab Emirates. The Serious Fraud Office said that David Lufkin had pleaded guilty at… Read More
15th January 2021
In October 2014, Canadian intelligence leaders were invited to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s headquarters in Chantilly, Va. The DEA had a theory: the upper echelons of global money laundering, terrorism, drug-trafficking and organized crime all bleed together. And only a handful of men in this murky world of extremely… Read More
15th January 2021
Many intrigues and scandals have gripped Spain in recent years, from alleged royal corruption to ministerial dirty tricks against political rivals, yet in all that complexity one character seems to have been ever-present. José Manuel Villarejo’s name, and to a lesser extent his face – due to his obsession with… Read More
15th January 2021
The United States on Wednesday blacklisted two Iranian foundations controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and their subsidies, saying the institutions enabled Iran’s elite to sustain a “corrupt” system of ownership over large parts of the economy. The designations announced by the U.S. Treasury Department target Execution of Imam… Read More