Entries by Lauren Jack

Liberating Limits: OFAC Licenses

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) safeguards national security and helps advance U.S. foreign policy objectives by administering the U.S. sanctions regime. OFAC’s general and specific licenses serve as key mechanisms for authorizing and regulating certain transactions that would otherwise be prohibited under sanctions programs. The exceptions provided by licenses help businesses and individuals navigate international transactions without violating U.S. sanctions policies.

Stuck and Seized – Consequences of Forced Labor

Global economies are more interconnected than ever, and human rights abuses can have a profound impact on supply chains and disrupt the flow of goods. Recent deliveries of certain luxury vehicles, such as Porsches, Audis, and Bentleys have been delayed because a small component that links those vehicles with computer networks was produced by a Chinese company linked to forced labor and surveillance of Uyghur populations in China.

Russia Sanctions Evasion Case Study: Viktor Labin

When conducting customer due diligence and enhanced due diligence, simple screening for names that may be on sanctions lists is no longer sufficient given the increasing complexity of Russia’s sanctions evasion efforts and the volatile regulatory environment because of Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine. Extra research is necessary to ensure compliance with sanctions laws and adherence with your company’s own risk policies. This research, however, can be complex, and structured analytic techniques and tools are necessary for effective due diligence. 

Are Casinos Havens for Money Laundering?

A recent UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report has found that casinos, junkets, and cryptocurrencies are exacerbating transnational organized criminal activity in East and Southeast Asia as part of the region’s underground banking and money laundering infrastructure. Although the use of casinos to launder money is not new, the proliferation of online gambling since the COVID 19 pandemic has aggravated the existing problem and has given rise to underregulated online gambling venues as more gamblers began playing from home.

Binging Griselda? Let’s Talk Drug Trafficking Sanctions

Netflix’s new series Griselda tells the story of Griselda Blanco. Known as the “Godmother of Cocaine,” Blanco trafficked cocaine from Colombia to Miami from the 1970s to the early 2000s. Despite her criminal activities, Blanco managed to evade law enforcement for many years. There were no sanctions against Blanco at the time, since the Kingpin Act, a U.S. law aimed at combating international drug trafficking and organized crime, was enacted in 1999 after Blanco’s sentencing.  

Risky Russia – Government Agencies Warn Businesses of Possible Trouble

The US Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce, and Labor in late February issued a business advisory warning firms and financial institutions about the serious legal, financial, and reputational risks of doing business in Russia. According to the State Department’s assessment, Russia’s kleptocratic environment undermines fair competition and the rule of law, exposing businesses to the risk of extortion, appropriation of assets, and US law enforcement action.

Thanks to Russia, Cross-Border Sanctions Collaboration at All-Time High

Russia’s unprovoked invasion and continued aggression in Ukraine has led to an unprecedented level of collaboration by sanctions stakeholders across jurisdictions, agencies, and sectors. IFI is publishing a series of blogs to highlight this increased collaboration. In this first blog, we take a look at cooperation across borders and most notably by the REPO Task Force and Price Cap Coalition.