The US Kingpin Act Overseas

November 24, 2017 Crime , OTHER

Judy Robinson-Cox photo

 

By

Ricardo Swire

 

Caribbean law enforcement counter-narcotics offensives often piggy-back on America’s Kingpin Act, as main legislative weapon used to sanction drugs trade participants. The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Kingpin List freezes a nominee’s America based assets and the individual/company is banned from US engagement. Caribbean internal security intelligence officials noted discovered Kingpin Act deficiencies. Sometimes when exported the legislation undermines legitimate national economies and financial sectors.

In October 2015 the OFAC blacklisted Honduras’ Grupo Continental or the “Rosenthal Money Laundering Network.” As a migrant from Russia in 1929 Rosenthal’s registered his syndicate in Honduras as Continental Insurance Company. Over the years, becoming a “transnational elite” or “Turk,” the Rosenthal empire was transformed to Grupo Continental or Continental Group.  On October 06, 2017 a New York money laundering indictment exposed Honduras’ former Vice President and three local elites.

The four Honduran Kingpins or “Specially Designated Nationals” (SDNs) charged for “felonious narcotics offenses” and “offenses against a foreign nation involving bribery of a public official and the misappropriation, theft, or embezzlement of public funds by and for the benefit of a public official.” All deals made “in whole or part” in the USA. The Kingpin List designation’s financial difficulties extended to Grupo Continental’s criminal comrades, clients and employees of Rosenthal‘s businesses.

His conglomerate includes a mill, telecommunications, media and cement companies. The OFAC’s four Honduran “Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers,” Rosenthal family bank or “Banco Continental” and a meat processing factory among US sanctioned enterprises. Total assets seized value US$4.2 million. Rosenthal’s close relationship with “Los Cachiros” drug trafficking syndicate was verified after twelve “Operation Resolve” internal security raids.   Law enforcement shuttered eleven businesses in San Pedro Sula and Puerto Cortes Olanchito. One hundred and thirty-one Los Cachiros’ properties were confiscated.

The Wilson Centre non-party policy forum based in Washington and a United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODC) January 25, 2016 Report titled “Fighting Corruption in El Salvador: Prevention, Investigation & Prosecuting Corruption, highlighted how political elites stole approximately US$300 million from Honduras’ health-care system. The financial vacuum eventually caused severe medicine shortages in the country. A former senior US Federal prosecutor confirmed the herculean task small States and corporations face, attempting to uncover real ownerships of “layered” clients or potential corporate partners sanctioned by the OFAC.

On Monday February 22nd 2016 an Organization of American States’ (OAS) procedure, or the Support Mechanism to Confront Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH), interfaced with the US Kingpin Act. A neighboring Peruvian ex-Prime Minister assigned to manage the program. In early 2017 an OFAC administrative oversight forced the removal of more than twenty Latin American selectees from the Kingpin List. Such persons successfully argued they were victims of wrongful sanctions.

Within the Caribbean community Jamaica is a leading South American cocaine transit hub. Caribbean Beach Park, Caribbean Showplace Ltd, Ramcharan Brothers Ltd and Ramcharan Ltd all registered on Jamaica and named in the Kingpin List. The OFAC recorded one hundred and sixty-four global businesses in the List’s Tiers 1 and 2 categories. Forty-eight drug Kingpins from thirty-four Mexican, Peruvian and Caribbean companies also registered. The Kingpin List identified a combination of eighty-two Colombian, Caribbean and Mexican nationals.

 

 

 

 

Ricardo Swire - Tuck Magazine

Ricardo Swire

Ricardo Swire is the Principal Consultant at R-L-H Security Consultants & Business Support Services and writes on a number of important issues.

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