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April 09, 2013 - OFAC Targets Honduran Link to Colombian and Mexican Narcotics Operations

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) today announced the designation of Honduran national Jose Miguel Handal Perez (a.k.a. “Chepe Handal”), as a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker (“SDNT”) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (“Kingpin Act”). Also designated today are Handal’s wife, Ena Elizabeth Hernandez Amaya; his father, Jose Miguel Handal Larach; and several of Handal’s companies located in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Companies designated today include Corporación Handal, which is comprised of various business ventures including a general merchandise and auto parts store, Supertiendas & Autopartes Handal, JM Troya, a motorcycle brand, and Cleopatra’s, a clothing store. Today’s actions generally prohibit U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these designees, and also freeze any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

Chepe Handal is the head of a Honduran-based drug trafficking organization (“DTO”) responsible for the coordination and distribution of multi-ton shipments of cocaine from Colombian sources of supply into Honduras. These supplies are distributed to Mexican DTOs, including the Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas, led respectively by Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera and Miguel Trevino Morales. Handal invests in and coordinates the receipt of drug-laden aircraft departing from Apure, Venezuela into Honduras via clandestine airstrips. He also facilities the movement of these drug shipments out of Honduras by land to Guatemala, where members of Los Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel take possession.

“Chepe Handal plays a critical role in the transportation and distribution of drug shipments between South America and the Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. “Today’s action underscores OFAC’s commitment to targeting and disrupting key facilitators of the drug trade wherever they may be.”

On March 3, 2011, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida indicted Chepe Handal with one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine with knowledge that it will be unlawfully imported into the United States.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Miami Field Division, Special Agent in Charge Mark R. Trouville stated, “Freezing the assets of international drug traffickers like Chepe Handal is akin to taking the weapons from their trafficking arsenal. Chepe Handal will be brought to justice and his criminal enterprise dismantled.”

Today's action would not have been possible without the support of the DEA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. Since June 2000 OFAC has identified 97 drug kingpins and designated more than 1,200 businesses and individuals. 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 of up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals face up to 10 years in prison and fines for criminal violation of the Kingpin Act pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code.

To view a chart of the Chepe Handal organization, click here​.

The following individuals have been added to OFAC's SDN List: <sort> HANDAL LARACH, Jose Miguel, San Pedro Sula, Cortes, Honduras; DOB 18 Jan 1941; citizen Honduras; National ID No. 0401-1941-00086 (Honduras) (individual) [SDNTK] (Linked To: AUTO PARTES HANDAL S. DE R.L. DE C.V.; Linked To: SUPERTIENDAS HANDAL S. DE R.L.; Linked To: RANCHO LA HERRADURA). HANDAL PEREZ, Jose Miguel (a.k.a. "CHEPE HANDAL"; a.k.a. "CHEPITO HANDAL"), Col Bella Vista, Casa No. 09, Camino a Rotulo de Coca Cola, San Pedro Sula, Cortes, Honduras; DOB 14 May 1974; POB Honduras; nationality Honduras; citizen Honduras; National ID No. 0501-1974-03523 (Honduras); Tax ID No. ERQ1IZE (Honduras) (individual) [SDNTK] (Linked To: CORPORACION HANDAL S. DE R.L.; Linked To: EASY CASH S. DE R.L.; Linked To: AUTO PARTES HANDAL S. DE R.L. DE C.V.; Linked To: SUPERTIENDAS HANDAL S. DE R.L.; Linked To: JM TROYA). HERNANDEZ AMAYA, Ena Elizabeth (a.k.a. DE HANDAL, Ena), San Pedro Sula, Cortes, Honduras; DOB 03 Sep 1978; nationality Honduras; National ID No. 0501-1978-08173 (Honduras) (individual) [SDNTK] (Linked To: J & E S. DE R.L. DE C.V.). </sort> The following entities have been added to OFAC's SDN List: <sort> AUTO PARTES HANDAL S. DE R.L. DE C.V. (a.k.a. APH S. DE R.L. DE C.V.; a.k.a. SUPERTIENDAS & AUTO PARTES HANDAL), 3 Ave y 14 Calle N.O., Barrio Las Acacias, Apartado Postal No 1018, San Pedro Sula, Cortes, Honduras; 14 de Julio, La Ceiba, Atlantida, Honduras; Ave Junior, Entre 7 y 6 Calle Sureste, San Pedero Sula, Cortes, Honduras; Tax ID No. 3ET38QN (Honduras); alt. Tax ID No. 05019001468346 (Honduras) [SDNTK]. CORPORACION HANDAL S. DE R.L., 3 Ave y 14 Calle N.O., Barrio Las Acacias, Apartado Postal No 1018, San Pedro Sula, Cortes, Honduras [SDNTK]. EASY CASH S. DE R.L., San Pedro Sula, Cortes, Honduras [SDNTK]. J & E S. DE R.L. DE C.V. (a.k.a. CLEOPATRA'S), 2 Nivel, Mall Galerias del Valle, San Pedro Sula, Cortes, Honduras; Mall Megaplaza, La Ceiba, Cortes, Honduras; Santa Rosa de Copan, Copan, Honduras [SDNTK]. JM TROYA, 3 Ave y 14 Calle N.O., Barrio Las Acacias, Apartado Postal No 1018, San Pedro Sula, Cortes, Honduras; Ave Cricunvalacion, Esquina Opuesta al Teatro Francisco Saybe, San Pedro Sula, Cortes, Honduras [SDNTK]. RANCHO LA HERRADURA (a.k.a. RANCHO LA HERADURA), Bajos de Choloma Carretera a Ticamaya, Cortes, Honduras [SDNTK]. SUPERTIENDAS HANDAL S. DE R.L. (a.k.a. SUPERTIENDAS & AUTO PARTES HANDAL), 3 Ave y 14 Calle N.O., Barrio Las Acacias, Apartado Postal No 1018, San Pedro Sula, Cortes, Honduras; Tax ID No. REFXT9I (Honduras) [SDNTK]. </sort>


Major drug-producing or drug-transit country

September 15, 2011 - Under the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (FAA), the President is required each year to notify Congress of those countries he determines to be major illicit drug-producing countries or major drug-transit countries that significantly affect the United States. A country’s presence on the list does not necessarily reflect its counternarcotics efforts or its level of cooperation on illegal drug control with the United States. The designation can reflect a combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to be produced and/or trafficked through a country.

When a country on the list does not fulfill its obligations under international counter-narcotics agreements and conventions, the President determines that the country has failed demonstrably to meet its counterdrug obligations, only Bolivia, Burma, and Venezuela, failed demonstrably. Such a designation can lead to sanctions. However, the President may also execute a waiver when he determines there is a vital national interest in continuing U.S. assistance. Even without such a waiver, humanitarian assistance and counternarcotics assistance may continue.

TCO

July 25, 2011 - President Obama has signed an Executive Order imposing sanctions against significant transnational criminal organizations (TCO's). The Order provides the United States with new tools to break the economic power of transnational organized crime and protect financial markets. It will assist the Administration’s efforts to disrupt, dismantle and defeat the TCO's that pose a significant threat to U.S. national security, foreign policy or the economy.

As a result of this Order, any property in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons in which the significant TCO's listed in the Annex have an interest is blocked, and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

The Order also authorizes the U.S. Department of the Treasury, in consultation with the Departments of Justice and State, to identify for sanctions any individual or entity determined to have materially assisted, sponsored or provided financial, material or technological support for any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this Order.

The US encourage partners and allies to echo the commitment and join in building a new framework for international cooperation to protect all our citizens from the violence, harm and exploitation wrought by transnational organized crime.

In signing today’s Order, the President imposed sanctions on the following organizations listed:

More information on the Transnational Criminal Organizations page.


June 05, 2013 - Transnational Criminal Organizations Designations - Mara Salvatrucha Leaders aka MS13

The Mara Salvatrucha gang originated in Los Angeles and has spread to Central America, other parts of the United States, and Canada. It is commonly abbreviated as MS, Mara, and MS-13. There is some dispute about the etymology of the name. The most common belief is that the word "Mara" refers to the Spanish word for "gang", and "Salvatrucha" (which is Spanish slang) for "Salvadoran army ant". Alternatively, it is suggested that "Salvatrucha" refers to the Salvadoran peasant guerrillas, the source of much of the gang's early manpower. The number 13 is homage to the Los Angeles gang "Los Emes" or "The Ms"(M being the thirteenth letter of the alphabet). The gang was set up in Los Angeles in 1980's by Salvadoran immigrants in the city's Pico-Union neighborhood. Source: Urban Dictionary

Please visit this chart for more information on these designations.

The following individuals have been added to OFAC's SDN List: <sort> BERCIAN MANCHON, Moris Alexander (a.k.a. "EL BARNEY"); DOB 30 Oct 1984; POB San Salvador, El Salvador; nationality El Salvador (individual) [TCO]. CISNEROS RODRIGUEZ, Jose Misael (a.k.a. CISNEROS, Jose Misal; a.k.a. "HALF MILLION"; a.k.a. "MEDIO MLON"); DOB 02 Oct 1976; POB Agua Caliente, Chalatenango, El Salvador; nationality El Salvador (individual) [TCO]. HENRIQUEZ SOLORZANO, Borromeo Enrique (a.k.a. RIVERA ARIAS, Racson Mario; a.k.a. "EL DIABLITO"; a.k.a. "EL DIABLITO DE HOLLYWOOD"; a.k.a. "EL DIABLO"; a.k.a. "EL DIABLO PEQUENO"); DOB 27 Jul 1978; POB San Salvador, El Salvador; nationality El Salvador (individual) [TCO]. MONTERROSA-LARIOS, Marvin Geovanny (a.k.a. MONTERROSA-LARIOS, Marvin Jeovanny; a.k.a. "ENANO"); DOB 21 May 1974; POB San Miguel, San Miguel, El Salvador; nationality El Salvador (individual) [TCO]. RIVERA-LUNA, Moises Humberto (a.k.a. "SANTOS"; a.k.a. "VIEJO SANTOS"); DOB 23 May 1969; POB San Salvador, El Salvador; nationality El Salvador (individual) [TCO]. TURCIOS ANGEL, Saul Antonio (a.k.a. "EL TRECE"; a.k.a. "SHAYBOYS"); DOB 17 May 1978; POB Zaragoza, La Libertad, El Salvador; nationality El Salvador (individual) [TCO]. </sort> OFAC Recent Actions

FATF Warning List

June 24, 2011 - The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is the global standard setting body for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). In order to protect the international financial system from ML/FT risks and to encourage greater compliance with the AML/CFT standards, the FATF identified jurisdictions that have strategic deficiencies and works with them to address those deficiencies that pose a risk to the international financial system.

As part of its ongoing review of compliance with the AML/CFT standards, the FATF has identified that this jurisdictions (Honduras) has AML/CFT deficiencies for which it has developed an action plan with the FATF.

NOTE-1: Strategic deficiencies require Enhanced Due Diligence

NOTE-2: FATF members and other jurisdictions should apply counter-measures to protect the international financial system from the on-going and substantial money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF) risks emanating from the jurisdictions Iran and North Korea.


The FATF and the FSRBs will continue to work with this jurisdiction and to report on the progress made in addressing the identified deficiencies. The FATF calls on the jurisdiction to complete the implementation of action plans expeditiously and within the proposed time frames. All member states should treat this jurisdiction (Honduras) with vigilance FATF Public Statement - June 24, 2011


US FinCen - AML/CFT Deficiencies Warning List

July 13, 2011 - FinCen adopted the Financial Action Task Force Public Statement on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Risks and FinCen provided guidance on the subject. More detailed information FIN-2011-A011 and FIN-2011-A012

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