On 16th May, OFAC announced the addition of 5 individuals linked to Hizbollah, together with ISIS IN THE GREATER SAHARA. At the same time the entry for Hasan NASRALLAH was amended.
On 16th May, Loadstar reported that MSC has became the first major container shipping line to announce that it plans to cease direct services into Iran. The Geneva-headquartered line cited the US decision to withdraw from the JCPOA as the reason for the change.
Illicit Trade reported on 16th May that the Nigerian government has banned the production and importation of codeine-based cough syrup after a BBC investigation revealed teenagers were abusing the medicine and becoming addicted. The BB found that dealers were selling the opioid-based medication illegally on the streets of Lagos, where children as young as 14 were becoming hooked on it with devastating effect. The investigation revealed that abuse of codeine-based cough syrup has become a major problem in a number of African countries, including Chad, Ghana, Kenya and Niger, and that more than 20 Nigerian pharmaceutical firms were manufacturing the medicine. While codeine is legal in Nigeria, the drug cannot be sold without a prescription from a doctor.
Baker McKenzie on 16th May reported that the Russian government is preparing to introduce new countermeasures in response to US and EU sanctions. and filed a draft Bill envisaging criminal liability for complying with Western sanctions.
The Daily Beast on 16th May carried an article about the publication of a new occasional paper by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey – “The Shadow Sector: North Korea’s Information Technology Networks”. The paper reveals that uncovered firms linked to North Korea are developing and selling encryption technologies, virtual private networks, and software for fingerprint scanning or facial recognition. North Korea-linked IT firms are offering comprehensive IT packages for companies and developing apps or websites for customers who range from small firms in Europe to a US primary school. For example, in Turkey your car licence plate could be read by North Korea-developed vehicle recognition software, and fingerprint scanners in use in Asia and Nigeria are from North Korea. The paper says that its products include development, administrative and business management software, IT security software, and biometric identification software for law enforcement applications. The global network includes a myriad of front companies, intermediaries , and foreign partnerships