Featured Syria

Nasrallah defies Lebanese state, says he will import Iranian oil

In a speech seen as an act of defiance against the Lebanese state and the US, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday insisted that Lebanon should be “negotiating with Iran to buy gasoline and diesel with the Lebanese currency if Lebanon’s shortages persist.” Seemingly unconcerned about the possibility that this… Read More

Qatar ‘funnelled millions of dollars to Nusra Front terrorists in Syria’, UK court hears

The Qatari state has been accused of playing a central role in a secret money laundering operation to send hundreds of millions of dollars to jihadists in Syria. A claim issued this week at the High Court in London alleges that a private office of the Gulf state’s monarch was… Read More

Pomegranate used to smuggle amphetamine pills from Lebanon

A row has broken out between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia over a haul of millions of amphetamine pills smuggled in a shipment of pomegranates. Lebanon appealed to Saudi Arabia this week to lift a ban on imports of fruit and vegetables, which have become an important source of hard currency… 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
10th March 2021
France may soon join just a handful of countries, including the United States and Switzerland, with far-reaching legislation aimed to repatriate confiscated stolen assets to their countries of origin. A luxury townhouse on Avenue Foch — one of Paris’ chicest addresses — is caught up in a yearslong legal battle… Read More
2nd March 2021
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
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
5th January 2021
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