Featured Syria

Iran Rejects Offer of Direct U.S. Nuclear Talks, Ratcheting Up Tension With West

Iran rejected a European Union offer to hold direct nuclear talks with the U.S. in the coming days, risking renewed tension between Tehran and Western capitals. Senior Western diplomats said Iran’s response doesn’t quash the Biden administration’s hopes of reviving diplomatic efforts to restore the 2015 nuclear deal, struck between… Read More

Beirut blast chemicals possibly linked to sanctioned Syrian businessmen

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

French Bank to Pay $8.6 Million to Settle Syria Sanctions Case

The U.S. Treasury Department imposed an $8.6 million fine on a French bank that officials said processed payments for blacklisted Syrian financial institutions. Union de Banques Arabes et Françaises SA, a Paris-based bank that facilitates trade finance between Europe and the Middle East, Africa and Asia, agreed to pay the… Read More
31st December 2020
The U.S. Treasury has settled with BitGo over charges that it facilitated users in sanctioned areas to transact using its crypto wallet services between 2015 and 2019. BitGo, an institutional crypto custodian service and wallet operator, did not do due diligence in blocking wallet users based in Crimea, Cuba, Iran,… Read More
30th December 2020
The United States has reached an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s National Commercial Bank over the NCB’s violations of US sanctions against Syria and Sudan, the US Treasury Department announced in a Monday release. The Treasury statement said:“The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced… Read More
24th December 2020
Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran’s clerical establishment has used religious organizations to expand its clout abroad. Key among them is the Al-Mustafa International University, a network of religious seminaries based in the Shi’ite holy city of Qom that has branches in some 50 countries. The university claims… Read More
23rd December 2020
The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it is imposing sanctions on 18 individuals and entities — including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s wife and some of her immediate relatives, the commander of the Syrian military intelligence, the Central Bank of Syria and close advisers to Assad — in an effort to… Read More
13th November 2020
Among the foreign-policy challenges facing President-elect Joe Biden will be the question of what to do with an array of punitive economic sanctions that have been President Trump’s primary tool for confronting U.S. rivals. Mr. Trump in nearly four years has issued 3,577 sanctions designations, imposing such penalties at a… Read More
30th October 2020
Criminals are using real estate transactions to launder dirty money in the Philippines, a top official of the Anti-Money Laundering Council revealed. AMLC Executive Director Atty. Mel Racela confirmed this during a Senate hearing on Wednesday after lawmakers asked him why real estate developers and brokers should report cash transactions… Read More
26th October 2020
Persian Gulf waters off Iraq have become a new, important waypoint for Iranian oil smugglers looking to avoid U.S. sanctions, according to American officials, who expressed frustration that Baghdad and other allies aren’t acting more aggressively to enforce curbs on commerce with Tehran. Iranian tankers now regularly transfer… Read More
16th October 2020
By Ana Poenariu (RISE Project) and Mohammad Bassiki (SIRAJ), OCCRP, 15 October 2020 OCCRP — The Art Deco-style mansion at 47 Paris Street in Bucharest was never going to be cheap. It measures over a thousand square meters, sits in a prime neighborhood favored by diplomats, and was built by… Read More
30th September 2020
AP — French police arrested 29 people around the country on Tuesday in a vast operation to break a complex scheme financing Islamist extremists in Syria through the use of cryptocurrencies. A statement from the anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office said search warrants are out for the two main figures in the… Read More
24th September 2020
BuzzFeed News – In 2014, the FBI was in the late stages of an elaborate sting. An undercover agent posing as an energy analyst leaked binders with fake commercial secrets to two Russian spies operating in New York. The spies took the binders back to the “Rezidentura,” the New… Read More