Iran’s Growing Influence In Latin America
SPERO Forum.com - SPERO News ^ | April 24, 2010 | Commentary, Analysis by Mark P. Sullivan
Posted on April 27, 2010 1:33:46 AM PDT by Cindy
SNIPPET: “President Chávez also announced during the visit that Venezuela is working on a preliminary plan for the construction of a nuclear village in Venezuela with Iranian assistance so that the Venezuelan people can count in the future on this marvelous resource for peaceful purposes. The transfer of Iranian nuclear technology from Iran would be a violation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions - 1737 (2006), 1747 ( 2007), and 1803 (2008) - that imposed restrictions on Irans nuclear technology transfers.
In late September 2009, comments by Venezuelan officials offered conflicting information about Irans support for Venezuelas search for uranium deposits. Venezuelan Minister of Basic Industry and Mining Rodolfo Sanz said that Iran was assisting Venezuela in detecting uranium reserves in the west and southwest of Venezuela. “
SNIPPET: “Nevertheless, on the diplomatic front, Iran has opened embassies over the past several years in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua, as well as in Colombia, Chile, and Uruguay. This is in addition to having existing embassies in Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela.”
SNIPPET: “As noted above, President Ahmadinejad has visited Venezuela several times, and has also visited Bolivia, Brazil, Nicaragua, and Cuba. In early May 2009, a scheduled first trip by Ahmadinejad to Brazil was unexpectedly postponed until after Irans election in June. There had been some protests in Brazil against Ahmadinejads visit, but the trip ultimately took place in November 2009. Brazilian President Lula da Silva maintains that the West should not isolate Iran. On the same trip, the Iranian President once again visited Bolivia and Venezuela. “
SNIPPET: “In March 2009 congressional testimony, Admiral James G. Stavridis, then commander of the U.S. Southern Command (Southcom), also asserted that the main concern about Irans increased activity in Latin America is its links to Hezbollah. He maintained that there was Hezbollah activity throughout South America, particularly the tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay as well as parts of Brazil and the Caribbean Basin.”
SNIPPET: “Mark P. Sullivan is a specialist in Latin American Affairs for the Congressional Research Service. It is a portion of a longer January 25, 2010 CRS report, Latin America: Terrorism Issues (PDF)
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only, not of Spero News.”
Read the whole article here: http://www.speroforum.com/a/31543/Irans-Growing-Influence-in-Latin-America
“Seven Charged For Illegal Export of Electronics to U.S. Designated Terrorist Entity in Paraguay”
US DOJ.gov - Justice.gov/usao ^ | February 19, 2010 | n/a
Posted on February 19, 2010 3:52:54 PM PST by Cindy
NOTE The following text is a quote:
Alleged Supporter of Terrorist Group Extradited from Paraguay
PHILADELPHIAMoussa Ali Hamdan, 38, a dual citizen of the United States and Lebanon and a former resident of Brooklyn, New York, made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia today after being extradited from Paraguay. He is being held pending a detention hearing. Hamdan is among several defendants charged in a conspiracy to provide material support to Hizballah, a designated foreign terrorist organization. He was indicted November 24, 2009, along with nine co-defendants. Hamdan was taken into U.S. custody in Asuncion, Paraguay, on Thursday, by U.S. Marshals who escorted him to Washington, D.C., where members of the FBIs Joint Terrorism Task Force took him into custody.
At the time of the indictment, Hamdan had left the United States. On June 15, 2010, Paraguayan authorities arrested him in the Tri-Border Area (TBA) of Paraguay for the crime of material support of terrorism.
Hamdan is charged in 28 of the 31 counts in the indictment, including conspiring to provide material support to Hizballah in the form of proceeds from the sale of counterfeit money, stolen (genuine) money, and fraudulent passports. According to the indictment, Hamdan and several other defendants were also charged with several counts of transporting stolen goods, trafficking in counterfeit goods, and making false statements to government officials.
According to a related criminal complaint Hamdan began purchasing purportedly stolen cellular telephones from a cooperating witness acting as an agent of the government and participated in the purchase and transportation of purportedly stolen goods on numerous occasions. These stolen goods included cellular telephones, laptop computers, Sony Play Station 2 systems, and automobiles, which the conspirators caused to be transported to destinations outside Pennsylvania, including overseas destinations such as Lebanon and Benin (Africa). Hamdan also allegedly bought counterfeit goodsnamely, counterfeit Nike® shoes and Mitchell & Ness® sports jerseysfrom the cooperating witness. The complaint details efforts by defendants Moussa Ali Hamdan and his co-defendants to sell the CW counterfeit United States currency for the purpose of raising funds for Hizballah. In total, the conspirators provided the CW with approximately $10,000 in counterfeit United States currency. The complaint also alleges that certain of Hamdans co-defendants generated additional funds for Hizballah by selling fraudulent passports. The CW and the defendants participated in the purchase of two fake passportsone from the United Kingdom and one from Canadafor the benefit of Hizballah. Hamdan allegedly agreed to pay $10,000 towards the purchase of these passports, in order to satisfy a debt he owed to the CW.
If convicted of all charges, Hamdan faces a statutory maximum sentence of 260 years in prison.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations Joint Terrorism Task Force, the New Jersey State Police, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the United States Secret Service, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Philadelphia Police Department, Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Customs and Border Protection, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Federal Air Marshals, Pennsylvania State Police, and the Philadelphia Police Department.
It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nancy Beam Winter and Vineet Gauri, and National Security Division Counterterrorism Section Trial Attorney Jolie F. Zimmerman.
The U.S. Attorneys Office would like to extend special thanks to the Paraguayan judicial and law enforcement authorities, including the U.S. Ambassador to Paraguay, for their invaluable assistance in the arrest and subsequent extradition of Hamdan, as well as the Office of International Affairs and U.S. Embassy, Asuncion, Diplomatic Security personnel who were involved in ensuring Hamdans capture and return to the United States.
Adding to Post no. 20:
Treasury Targets Major Money Laundering Network Operating Out of Colombia
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY - Press Release ^ | July 9, 2013 | n/a
Posted on July 10, 2013 1:56:06 AM PDT by Cindy
NOTE The following text is a quote:
Treasury Targets Major Money Laundering Network Operating Out of Colombia
Trade Based Money Laundering Network Supported Narcotics Traffickers Ayman Joumaa and Evaristo Linares Castillo
WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced the designation of Colombian nationals Isaac Perez Guberek Ravinovicz and his son, Henry Guberek Grimberg, as well as 29 other individuals and entities, including companies located in Colombia, Panama, and Israel, as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNTs). These 31 individuals and entities together form a money laundering network responsible for laundering hundreds of millions of dollars in drug money connected to drug trafficking organizations, including Ayman Saied Joumaa and Linares Castillo who were both previously designated by the Treasury Department. In a separate action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida and the Drug Enforcement Administrations (DEA) Miami Field Division announced the filing of criminal charges against four defendants, including Isaac Perez Guberek Ravinovicz, Henry Guberek Grimberg, and Johanna Patricia Ceballos-Bueno — designated by Treasury today — all Colombian nationals, for their participation in an international money laundering conspiracy in which they laundered millions of dollars for transnational drug trafficking organizations.
Todays action builds upon the U.S. governments continued campaign to target global narcotics networks, including that run by Joumaa whose global narcotics enterprises have stretched from South America to Africa and have benefited terrorist groups such as Hizballah. By designating the individuals and entities behind this money laundering organization, the Treasury Department is taking another step to protect the international financing system from abuse by narcotics traffickers, money launderers, and terrorists.
Money laundering is the lifeblood of the narcotics trafficking world, said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen. Our action against this major money laundering network strikes a powerful blow at the illicit profits flows of criminals like Ayman Joumaa and Linares Castillo.
Drug traffickers only motive to enter the illegal drug trade is the money, and they will go to any length to hide and protect their proceeds. These bad actors often depend on international businesses to facilitate the illegal movement of their drug profits. Whether you are a successful businessman or a secretary, if you assist drug traffickers you will face the same justice, said DEA Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville.
Isaac Perez Guberek Ravinovicz, a Colombian national, and his son, Henry Guberek Grimberg, a dual Colombian and Israeli national, lead a money laundering network based in Bogota, Colombia that launders narcotics proceeds on behalf of numerous drug trafficking organizations, including organizations based in Colombia. Narcotics traffickers such as Ayman Saied Joumaa, previously designated by the Treasury Department in January 2011, and Jose Evaristo Linares Castillo, designated in February 2013 are known to have laundered their drug proceeds through this money laundering network.
Several family members and associates of Guberek Ravinovicz and Guberek Grimberg were also designated today for materially supporting the principals money laundering activities and/or for helping to manage their companies. The family members include Henry Guberek Grimbergs two brothers, Felipe Guberek Grimberg, a businessman currently residing in Israel, and Arieh Guberek Grimberg, a licensed soccer (futbol) agent. The business associates include Johanna Patricia Ceballos Bueno, the secretary of Guberek Ravinovicz and Guberek Grimberg, who manages the day-to-day operations of the network from their offices in Bogota.
Guberek Ravinovicz and Guberek Grimberg primarily rely upon the use of ostensibly legitimate textile companies within Colombia to engage in trade-based money laundering. Using bank accounts for these companies, as well as accounts belonging to a series of shell companies in Panama, Guberek Ravinovicz and Guberek Grimberg provide a means for traffickers to transfer narcotics proceeds back to Colombia from locations all over the world, with drug money transiting additional accounts in Spain, Hong Kong, the United States, Mexico, China, Israel, the Cayman Islands, and Venezuela, as well as other locations in Europe and Central America.
Todays action, taken pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), generally prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these entities and individuals, and freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.
This action would not have been possible without the support of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The Treasury Department has designated more than 1,200 individuals and entities linked to 103 drug kingpins since June 2000. Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.
For a chart relating to todays actions click here..