Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Friday, September 22, 2017

CHINA SAID TO CURTAIL ITS BANKS' RELATIONSHIP WITH NORTH KOREA



Reports from China indicate that the country's Central Bank has notified Chinese banks to cease extending credit to North Korea, to refrain from accepting any new clients from the DPRK, and to wind down all business with that rogue nation. It is said this is in response to massive United Nations, and American, financial sanctions.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

EXECUTIVE ORDER AUTHORIZES CLOSING CORRESPONDENT ACCOUNTS OF FOREIGN BANKS THAT WORK WITH NORTH KOREA



By Executive Order, President Donald Trump has today given the Secretary of the Treasury authority to close correspondent accounts of foreign banks that have transactions benefiting North Korea, in addition to massive other sanctions. Readers who wish to review the complete text of the Executive Order may access it here.
 

FINCEN PUBLISHES RED FLAGS OF CORRUPT VENEZUELAN FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS

 We have been covering Venezuelan governmental corruption, and the dangers that it poses to US banks and NBFIs, for many years. This week, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, issued an alert, FIN-2017-A006, entitled Advisory to Financial Institutions on Widespread Political Corruption in Venezuela. The advisory details many of the Red Flags that have previously appeared on this blog, and it is humbly suggested that it be  required reading for all compliance officers whose bank clients have any international trade with Venezuela, in both its private, as well, as public sectors.

Readers may access the complete text of the advisory here.

COMPLIANCE MUST UNDERSTAND ISIS POSSESSION OF VALID SYRIAN PASSPORTS PRESENTS A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER


The authoritative American think tank, the Gatestone Institute, has reported that ISIS is in possession of 11.000 valid, blank Syrian passports*. This statement, if verified, means that compliance officers must consider ALL Syrian passports invalid, for the purposes of due diligence and enhanced due diligence. Only through alternative methods of investigation, can any compliance query of Syrian nationals, be considered adequate, and given the current state of the civil war in Syria, there is no
acceptable means of vetting Syrians.

Whether ISIS is using those passports to place terrorist agents into the countries of the European Union is not known, but it must be assumed, given ISIS acceptance of responsibility for a number of terrorist acts committed recently in Europe. Could ISIS terrorist financiers, or terrorist operatives, masquerading as refugees, make their way to the United States and Canada ? Compliance officers, who operate a risk-based system, must now regard all Syrian passports as suspect, and not true evidence of identity.
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* The use of blank passports by terrorist organizations is not new. Though there was a concerted campaign to keep the story out of the media, American Forces in Afghanistan in 2011 confiscated a large number of valid, blank passports, issued by the Republic of Haiti, in Taliban-controlled territory. Sources from Haiti alleged that they has been purchased, by Palestinian businessmen, before 9/11, and shipped to the Middle East.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

BANNED FOR LIFE, AMERICAN STOCKBROKER STILL FLAUNTS FINRA FROM OFFSHORE

www.interpacificinvestors.com/
 
Gary James Lundgren, banned from selling securities for the rest of his life by FINRA*, after a long history of violations, capped by a flat refusal to open his books to the agency, is still thumbing his nose at the American regulator, by selling bonds to Americans, while he resides in the Republic of Panama, an offshore sanctuary, outside the reach of American justice.

Lundgren, who has a long and sordid career involving the sale of suspicious High Yield Investment Products (HYIP), and defrauding expats by stealing their real estate, is believed to have stayed out of the Continental United States for years, due to the fact that there are warrants for his arrest. He is operating as a broker-dealer, but he has no license to sell securities.

Above is a screenshot from one of his websites; note that he is using the name "Interpacific Investors," which was the name of his US firm,  reportedly closed at the insistence of American regulators.

Additionally, Lundgren is acting as a finance company in Panama, though he is not authorized to do so, as he is not licensed to provide financial services. 
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* Readers who are not familiar with Mr. Lundgren's case are advised to read our prior blog articles, which detailed the FINRA proceedings against him.

STILL NO HABEUS CORPUS FILING BY RICARDO MARTINELLI

Donald Trump and Ricardo Martinelli
More than two weeks after a Federal magistrate judge in Miami ordered his extradition, to face massive criminal charges in his native Panama Ricardo Martinelli's defense team has not yet filed the Habeus Corpus proceeding that they stated would be filed on his behalf, to contest the decision. Given that Martinelli, the former president of the Republic of Panama, could be shipped out at any time, their failure to act is puzzling. he faces more than a dozen corruption charges, including Insider Trading, plus the illegal surveillance case, which is the specific subject of his extradition.

Martinelli remains in custody in the downtown Federal Detention Center, as his efforts to bond out were met with failure. Some Panama sources claim that he intended to flee the United States for the "safety" of the Dominican Republic, should he have succeeded in obtaining release on bond. The Dom Rep is home to a number of fugitives from justice, wanted by Panama, and who have, bluntly, bought their freedom from extradition, through payoffs.

The final order to extradite Martinelli must come from the US Secretary of State, and Panamanians sincerely involved in reforming their country are anxiously awaiting his decision, as he is the poster child for the corruption, and financial crime, that Panama wants to relegate to history, as it moves forward towards true reform.

Monday, September 18, 2017

RISING ANTI-AMERICAN SENTIMENT IN TURKEY DUE TO KURDISH REFERENDUM



The upcoming September 25 referendum on independence, to be held by the Kurdish Regional Government, has spawned not only anti-Israeli, but also anti-American anger in Turkey. Elements of the ruling party in Turkey have staged anti-American protests, including one at the American airbase at Incirlik. 

Iraq, which was artificially created in 1920, by the victorious European powers, is composed of a number of diverse ethnic and religious groups, and Kurdish territory was divided among several countries. Statements to the effect that the loss of Kurdistan will affect Iraqi territorial integrity and history are not supported by fact. Some officials in the Middle East are calling Kurdistan the "next Israel," as it is a movement by a specific ethnic group for independence, and could threaten the existence of a number of countries in the region, by oppressed ethnic groups

 Israel is the only country that has supported Kurdish independence, drawing further Arab wrath, but the fact that the US, which is not a supporter, is being targeted by Turkey, does not bode well for American financial interests there, meaning that Country Risk on Turkey may have to be increased substantially, if the officially-sponsored anti-American demonstrations continue.

Turkey is also unhappy with the American criminal prosecution of the Iranian oil sanctions evader, Reza Zarrab, and the other defendants, and compliance officers who are charged with assessing Country Risk in the Middle East should be be watchful.