Featured Middle East

Hezbollah operatives seen behind spike in drug trafficking, analysts say

At first glance, the shipping trailers that arrived at the Italian port of Salerno appeared to contain only paper, rolled up on giant industrial spools as tall as a man. But when an investigator sliced into one of the rolls with an electric saw, he unleashed an avalanche of little… Read More

Juan Carlos fled Spain amid a dirty money probe, but where did he go?

When Spain’s royal palace announced Monday that former Spanish King Juan Carlos was leaving the country, it omitted a key detail. Where exactly had he gone? On Monday, several media outlets reported the former king had traveled to the Portuguese town of Cascais, where he spent parts of… Read More

Tehran busts sanctions to set up shop in Venezuela

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a branch of Iran’s army, is believed to be behind the opening of a superstore in Venezuela in the latest attempt to defy American-led sanctions. The Caracas branch of Megasis was officially opened last week by the Iranian ambassador and the Venezuelan vice-president. The… Read More
3rd August 2020
The phrase “shell company” conjures images of offshore havens such as Panama or the British Virgin Islands, but one of the world’s leading enablers of financial secrecy is actually the United States. In every state, more personal details and proof of identity are required to get a library card… Read More
30th July 2020
The UK’s top sanctions regulator has issued landmark guidance for all companies involved in maritime trade, instructing them to pay closer attention to vessel behaviour, company structures and potentially forged documents. The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) warns that “a variety of tactics are deployed to confuse or conceal… Read More
30th July 2020
The U.S. placed sanctions on a son of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a Syrian military unit in an effort by the Trump administration to pressure the country’s regime to end a civil war. Wednesday’s actions by the U.S. Treasury Department and the U.S. State Department, which included the blacklisting… Read More
30th July 2020
The Enforcement Directorate has filed a money laundering case against on run defence consultant Sanjay Bhandari to probe kickbacks worth USD 4.99 million allegedly received by him from South Korean major Samsung Engineering Co Ltd (SECL) in 2009, officials said on Monday. Bhandari’s firm was paid by SECL, in violation… Read More
29th July 2020
The government of the U.S. Virgin Islands is upping the ante in its quest to pierce the veil of secrecy that cloaked the life and wealth of financier Jeffrey Epstein, the deceased sex-offender who accrued a fortune of more than $650 million under mysterious circumstances. At least ten financial institutions… Read More
28th July 2020
Syrian businessman Rami Makhlouf revealed on Sunday he had set up a web of offshore front companies to help President Bashar al Assad evade Western sanctions, in a social media post blasting the government for investigating his business empire. One of Syria’s richest and most powerful businessmen, Makhlouf said security… Read More
27th July 2020
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will pay $2.5 billion to the government of Malaysia for its role in the alleged theft of billions of dollars from a government investment fund, bringing the Wall Street bank close to ending one of the worst scandals in its history. Goldman also guaranteed… Read More
27th July 2020
Bribing one politician is bad. Bribing all the politicians is worse. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating a group of companies in Kurdistan, Iraq’s semi-independent northern region, that appears to be doing the latter in order to secure a monopoly on Pentagon fuel contracts worth hundreds of… Read More
27th July 2020
Philippine investigators say they have identified dozens of people and entities of interest in their probe into Wirecard AG, and are focusing on two bank employees who may have facilitated a multinational accounting scandal at the insolvent German payments company. Wirecard had claimed some $2.1 billion in cash… Read More
24th July 2020
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a money laundering complaint in connection with the Kerala gold smuggling case, officials said on Wednesday. They said the agency has registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), equivalent of a police FIR, after studying the NIA FIR filed earlier. The ED case has… Read More