Sanctions

How North Korea Abuses Anonymous Companies to Illicitly Procure Mercedes — and Weapons

The images of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-un waving from atop a Mercedes Benz limo have made the rounds on the internet over the past few days in the wake of a new study published by the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS) and covered by the New York Times and CNN, among others. C4ADS research details how North Korea has evaded sanctions to secure luxury goods — and other more nefarious items — through its illicit finance operations.

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Major U.S. Businesses Endorse Ending Anonymous Companies

Commercial Support for Ownership Disclosure Grows as National Foreign Trade Council Backs Incorporation Transparency
Momentum continues to build in the fight to tackle the abuse of anonymous shell companies.

Richard Sawaya, the vice president of the National Foreign Trade Council, which represents major U.S. multinational businesses, just endorsed cracking down on money laundering and anonymous shell companies in a new op-ed in The Hill regarding Russia sanctions.

While the FACT Coalition takes no position on most of the content in the op-ed, the penultimate paragraph of the article says:
“Congress should focus on… incorporating new ideas… that would crack down on Russian money laundering and shell corporations, expose the financial crimes of Putin cronies, and prevent U.S. real estate from being a haven for kleptocrat money, all without measurably hurting the U.S. economy.”
NFTC—whose’s board of directors consists of major U.S. businesses including Caterpillar, Coca-Cola, Exxon, Fluor, General Electric, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, and Walmart—joins the entire financial services industry, the National Association of Realtors, the vast majority of small business owners, and other large companies such as Dow Chemical, Unilever, and Salesforce in pushing for incorporation transparency.

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New Treasury Sanctions Are Unenforceable

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the U.S. Treasury Department unveiled sanctions against five Iranian individuals Tuesday for providing “ballistic missile-related technical expertise to Yemen’s Huthis,” the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition warned that the United States has failed to equip itself with the tools to enforce those sanctions.

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Shell Companies Undermine Sanctions against North Korea

On Aug. 5, the United Nations Security Council voted to pass powerful new sanctions on North Korea. If successfully enforced, the new sanctions could deal a significant blow to the regime, cutting off as much as its foreign currency supply. But if sanctions are going to have any effect on the North Korean regime, we cannot continue to leave open critical loopholes that allow them to launder money and get around the sanctions.

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