On 17 November, a report from Insight Crime reports on an investigation which exposes how the Maduro regime’s attempts to control Venezuela’s mining heartland in the state of Bolívar has led to criminal chaos, as guerrilla groups, heavily armed gangs and corrupt state elements battle over the country’s gold. This includes Colombian guerrillas’ involvement in illegal mining in Venezuela, with indigenous communities have reported incursions into illegal gold mines by dissidents from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia or FARC) for at least 5 years, and another Colombian guerrilla group – the National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional or ELN) is also present. But these are only 2 of a number of groups involved.
On 22 November, Front Page Africa reported that the FIU had presented the NRA to the Liberia bankers’ Association. The NRA was released in September and major outcomes of the NRA show Liberia’s money laundering risks as high in the financial sector as well as for DNFBP. However, it also reveals that Liberia’s terrorist financing risk is low.
On 22 December, OFAC announced that it had designated Ismatullah Khalozai, an individual who has acted as a financial facilitator for the Islamic State’s Khorasan Province (ISIL-Khorasan), active in Afghanistan and commonly referred to as “ISIS-K”. The designation, in coordination with the Department of State, also sees Sanaullah Ghafari, Sultan Aziz Azam, and Maulawi Rajab designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) for their roles as leaders of ISIS-K.
At the same time, OFAC has made a number of deletions from its SDN List, and amended a number of others. A news release from the US Treasury refers those seeking information on the process for seeking removal from any OFAC list, including the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List, to FAQ 897.
This Index set out to assess the quality of institutional controls to manage the risk of corruption in the defence and security institutions. It rates countries from Band A (New Zealand), with a very low risk, to Band F (featuring 18 countries) with a critical risk. It is said to be the world’s leading assessment of corruption risks in government defence institutions.
A report from The Sentry says that although President Joseph Kabila’s final term as head of the DRC was set to end in December 2016, he clung to power and delayed elections for another 2 years. Meanwhile, his brother Francis Selemani purchased numerous luxury homes in the US and South Africa, it appears at least in part using funds diverted from the government. Selemani was MD of BGFIBank DRC, the Congolese subsidiary of Gabon-based BGFIBank Group. It is claimed that Selemani and the Kabila family used a network of companies and the bank they controlled to misappropriate public funds, transferring millions abroad and purchasing millions of dollars in foreign real estate.