Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Closing the cracks before things slip through

Even with the new management in D.C., the chaps at the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) are keeping at the task assigned.

Recent listings under E.O. 13224 have both been valuable moves:

Last week, they hung a bell on the Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK), freezing their assets in the U.S. and more importantly banning U.S. nationals from any transaction with them.

This matters a lot because the legitimate Kurdish political parties are trying very hard to clamp down on the PKK, who are the Soviet-era relic that keeps trying to kill Turks in the name of Kurdish independence. The PJAK was nothing more than a PKK front group.

Then, today, OFAC pulled out a real winner; a successful linking of various LTTE front-organizations operating in the U.S. (and world wide), and the listing of the supposedly "clean" fronts as well as the extant listing of the known "dirty" ones.

With the LTTE on the ropes in Sri Lanka, cutting off the supply of funds in places outside South Asia is an important part of preventing funds from reaching LTTE leadership on the run. Again, both assets were frozen and U.S. nationals are banned from any transaction with the group.

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