March 21, 2019: OFAC adds to DRC, North Korea programs; amends counter terror listing

On Thursday, OFAC added the following 3 persons to its Democratic Republic of the Congo sanctions:

BASENGEZI, Marcellin (a.k.a. BASENGEZI, Marcellin Mukolo; a.k.a. MAKOLO, Marcelin Basengezi; a.k.a. MUKOLO, Basengezi Marcellin), Appartement 29 Cite Du Fleuve, Cite Du Fleuve, Kingabwa Limete, Kinshasa, Congo, Democratic Republic of the; DOB 30 Nov 1985; POB Kaziba, Congo, Democratic Republic of the; Gender Male; Passport OP0155187 (Congo, Democratic Republic of the) issued 24 Jan 2016 expires 19 Jan 2021 (individual) [DRCONGO]. 

KATINTIMA, Norbert Basengezi (a.k.a. KATINTIMA, Norbert Bashengezi), 15 Joli Parc, Ma Campagne, Kinshasa 00243, Congo, Democratic Republic of the; DOB 10 Jan 1958; POB Kashiramo-Kaziba, South Kivu, Congo, Democratic Republic of the; alt. POB Rwanda; nationality Congo, Democratic Republic of the; alt. nationality Rwanda; Gender Male; Vice-President of the Independent National Electoral Commission (individual) [DRCONGO].

NANGAA, Corneille Yobeluo (a.k.a. YOBELUO, Corneille Nangaa), 36 Q Solongo Blvd, Biangala, Lemba, Kinshasa, Congo, Democratic Republic of the; DOB 09 Jul 1970; POB Bagboya, Congo, Democratic Republic of the; Gender Male; Passport DP0003850 (Congo, Democratic Republic of the) issued 20 Nov 2017 expires 19 Nov 2022; alt. Passport DP0000149 (Congo, Democratic Republic of the) issued 12 Jan 2016 expires 11 Jan 2021 (individual) [DRCONGO].

And the following 2 entities to its North Korean sanctions:

DALIAN HAIBO INTERNATIONAL FREIGHT CO. LTD., 1103 A, Fortune Plaza No. 20, Harbour Street, Zhongshan District, Dalian, China; Secondary sanctions risk: North Korea Sanctions Regulations, sections 510.201 and 510.210 [DPRK3].

LIAONING DANXING INTERNATIONAL FORWARDING CO. LTD. (Chinese Simplified: 辽宁丹兴国际货运有限公司), Room D1302, Langham Place, East Harbour, No. 11 Zhubao Street, Ganglong Road, Dalian, China; Secondary sanctions risk: North Korea Sanctions Regulations, sections 510.201 and 510.210; Registration Number 91210200242663544B [DPRK4].

And updated the ISIL listing under its counter terrorism sanctions program:

ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ AND THE LEVANT (a.k.a. AD-DAWLA AL-ISLAMIYYA FI AL-‘IRAQ WA-SH-SHAM; a.k.a. AL-FURQAN ESTABLISHMENT FOR MEDIA PRODUCTION; a.k.a. AL-QAIDA GROUP OF JIHAD IN IRAQ; a.k.a. AL-QAIDA GROUP OF JIHAD IN THE LAND OF THE TWO RIVERS; a.k.a. AL-QAIDA IN IRAQ; a.k.a. AL-QAIDA IN MESOPOTAMIA; a.k.a. AL-QAIDA IN THE LAND OF THE TWO RIVERS; a.k.a. AL-QAIDA OF JIHAD IN IRAQ; a.k.a. AL-QAIDA OF JIHAD ORGANIZATION IN THE LAND OF THE TWO RIVERS; a.k.a. AL-QAIDA OF THE JIHAD IN THE LAND OF THE TWO RIVERS; a.k.a. AL-TAWHID; a.k.a. AL-ZARQAWI NETWORK; a.k.a. DAESH; a.k.a. DAWLA AL ISLAMIYA; a.k.a. ISIL; a.k.a. ISIS; a.k.a. ISLAMIC STATE; a.k.a. ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ; a.k.a. ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ AND AL-SHAM; a.k.a. ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ AND SYRIA; a.k.a. JAM’AT AL TAWHID WA’AL-JIHAD; a.k.a. TANZEEM QA’IDAT AL JIHAD/BILAD AL RAAFIDAINI; a.k.a. TANZIM QA’IDAT AL-JIHAD FI BILAD AL-RAFIDAYN; a.k.a. THE MONOTHEISM AND JIHAD GROUP; a.k.a. THE ORGANIZATION BASE OF JIHAD/COUNTRY OF THE TWO RIVERS; a.k.a. THE ORGANIZATION BASE OF JIHAD/MESOPOTAMIA; a.k.a. THE ORGANIZATION OF AL-JIHAD’S BASE IN IRAQ; a.k.a. THE ORGANIZATION OF AL-JIHAD’S BASE IN THE LAND OF THE TWO RIVERS; a.k.a. THE ORGANIZATION OF AL-JIHAD’S BASE OF OPERATIONS IN IRAQ; a.k.a. THE ORGANIZATION OF AL-JIHAD’S BASE OF OPERATIONS IN THE LAND OF THE TWO RIVERS; a.k.a. THE ORGANIZATION OF JIHAD’S BASE IN THE COUNTRY OF THE TWO RIVERS) [FTO] [SDGT]. -to- ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ AND THE LEVANT (a.k.a. AD-DAWLA AL-ISLAMIYYA FI AL-‘IRAQ WA-SH-SHAM; a.k.a. AL HAYAT MEDIA CENTER; a.k.a. AL-FURQAN ESTABLISHMENT FOR MEDIA PRODUCTION; a.k.a. AL-HAYAT MEDIA CENTER; a.k.a. AL-QAIDA GROUP OF JIHAD IN IRAQ; a.k.a. AL-QAIDA GROUP OF JIHAD IN THE LAND OF THE TWO RIVERS; a.k.a. AL-QAIDA IN IRAQ; a.k.a. AL-QAIDA IN MESOPOTAMIA; a.k.a. AL-QAIDA IN THE LAND OF THE TWO RIVERS; a.k.a. AL-QAIDA OF JIHAD IN IRAQ; a.k.a. AL-QAIDA OF JIHAD ORGANIZATION IN THE LAND OF THE TWO RIVERS; a.k.a. AL-QAIDA OF THE JIHAD IN THE LAND OF THE TWO RIVERS; a.k.a. AL-TAWHID; a.k.a. AL-ZARQAWI NETWORK; a.k.a. AMAQ NEWS AGENCY; a.k.a. DAESH; a.k.a. DAWLA AL ISLAMIYA; a.k.a. ISIL; a.k.a. ISIS; a.k.a. ISLAMIC STATE; a.k.a. ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ; a.k.a. ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ AND AL-SHAM; a.k.a. ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ AND SYRIA; a.k.a. JAM’AT AL TAWHID WA’AL-JIHAD; a.k.a. TANZEEM QA’IDAT AL JIHAD/BILAD AL RAAFIDAINI; a.k.a. TANZIM QA’IDAT AL-JIHAD FI BILAD AL-RAFIDAYN; a.k.a. THE MONOTHEISM AND JIHAD GROUP; a.k.a. THE ORGANIZATION BASE OF JIHAD/COUNTRY OF THE TWO RIVERS; a.k.a. THE ORGANIZATION BASE OF JIHAD/MESOPOTAMIA; a.k.a. THE ORGANIZATION OF AL-JIHAD’S BASE IN IRAQ; a.k.a. THE ORGANIZATION OF AL-JIHAD’S BASE IN THE LAND OF THE TWO RIVERS; a.k.a. THE ORGANIZATION OF AL-JIHAD’S BASE OF OPERATIONS IN IRAQ; a.k.a. THE ORGANIZATION OF AL-JIHAD’S BASE OF OPERATIONS IN THE LAND OF THE TWO RIVERS; a.k.a. THE ORGANIZATION OF JIHAD’S BASE IN THE COUNTRY OF THE TWO RIVERS; a.k.a. “AL HAYAT”) [FTO] [SDGT].

Additionally, the Coast Guard, Treasury and State Departments issued an updated, 19-page guidance document on “North Korea’s Illicit Shipping Practices”.

The Treasury Department issued two press releases – one for the Congolese designations:

Treasury Sanctions Congolese Officials Responsible for Undermining DRC Elections

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned three senior Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) officials pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13413, as amended by E.O. 13671, which authorizes sanctions in light of actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in the DRC.

“This action follows persistent corruption by senior officials within the DRC’s National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) and the former Kabila Government to obstruct and delay preparations for credible and inclusive elections,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “We stand with the Congolese people who went to the polls on December 30 but remain concerned about a flawed electoral process in which, following the presidential election, CENI continued to obstruct the democratic process and failed to ensure the vote reflected the will of the Congolese people.  The United States will continue to assist those who seek to root out credible allegations of corruption but will not hesitate to leverage our authorities to impose tangible and significant consequences on malign actors in the DRC and around the world that undermine the democratic process and traffic in corruption.” 

Specifically, OFAC designated three senior CENI officials: Corneille Yobeluo Nangaa (Nangaa), CENI President; Norbert Basengezi Katintima (Katintima), CENI Vice-President; and Katintima’s son, Marcellin Basengezi Mukolo (Basengezi), a high-level CENI advisor.  As a result of today’s actions, all of the designated persons’ assets within U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

CORNEILLE YOBELUO NANGAA, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION (CENI)

Nangaa was nominated and sworn in as the President of CENI in November 2015.  CENI is tasked with executing elections in the DRC, and under Nangaa’s leadership, elections originally scheduled for December 2016 were postponed to December 2018.  In postponing the 2016 elections, CENI cited a lack of funding and delays in voter registration.  In his capacity as CENI President, Nangaa, and other CENI officials under his direction, embezzled and misappropriated CENI operational funds and undertook actions that slowed voter registration, facilitating election delays.

Nangaa oversaw CENI officials using several shell companies to embezzle CENI operational funds for their own personal and political gain.  Nangaa and other CENI officials enriched themselves through the purchase and sale of gasoline for profit at the expense of CENI, which delayed registration in Kasai, an opposition stronghold, and meant that many voters were unable to register.  In acquiring fuel to power generators for CENI offices, Nangaa negotiated a discounted rate and retained the difference from the budgeted amount to divide among senior CENI employees. Nangaa subsequently instructed CENI officials to fabricate receipts to account for the spending gap.

Under Nangaa’s leadership, CENI officials inflated by as much as $100 million the costs for the electronic voting machine contract with the intent to use surplus funds for personal enrichment, bribes, and campaign costs to fund the election campaign of Kabila’s candidate.  Nangaa, with other CENI officials, awarded an election-related contract and doubled the award amount on the understanding that the winning company would award the extra funds to a DRC company controlled by CENI leadership.  Nangaa approved the withdrawal of CENI operation funds for non-authorized budget items for personal use by DRC government employees.  Nangaa ordered CENI employees to fabricate expense receipts to cover spending gaps resulting from CENI funds being used for personal gain.  Nangaa delivered bribes to Constitutional Court justices to uphold a decision by the CENI to delay DRC’s 2016 elections. 

NORBERT BASENGEZI KATINTIMA, CENI VICE PRESIDENT

Katintima was nominated and sworn in as the Vice President of CENI in November 2015.  CENI is tasked with executing elections in the DRC, and under Katintima’s leadership, elections originally scheduled for December 2016 were postponed to December 2018.  In postponing the 2016 elections, CENI cited a lack of funding and delays in voter registration.  In his capacity as CENI Vice President, Katintima and other CENI officials under his direction, embezzled and misappropriated CENI operational funds, facilitating election delays.

Katintima oversaw CENI officials using several shell companies to embezzle CENI operational funds for their own personal and political gain.  Katintima withdrew and provided at least $80,000 from CENI operational funds to his personally-owned hospital, which provided medical care to all CENI employees.  The Supreme Audit Institution had sent unidentified investigators to CENI to conduct an audit of its financial activities.  However, CENI officials, including Katintima, agreed to bribe the investigators to conduct an inaccurate audit.  Katintima delivered bribes to Constitutional Court justices to uphold a decision by the CENI to delay DRC’s 2016 elections.

MARCELLIN MUKOLO BASENGEZI, CENI ADVISOR

Marcellin Basengezi is a CENI advisor and the son of Vice President Katintima.  Basengezi has embezzled and misappropriated state assets from CENI and has undertaken actions that slowed registration, which facilitated election delays.

Basengezi and other CENI advisors were in charge of assigning CENI contracts, enabling them to award contracts to their own shell companies for personal profit and to circumvent official procurement procedures.  Basengezi inflated costs for an election-related contract with the intent to use surplus funds for personal enrichment, bribes, and campaign costs to fund the election campaign of Kabila’s successor.  Basengezi awarded a separate election-related contract and doubled the award amount on the understanding that the winning company would award the extra funds to a DRC company controlled by CENI leadership.  Basengezi and other CENI official have purchased and sold gasoline for profit at the expense of CENI, including selling fuel prepositioned for voter registration.  The interest in self-enrichment of Basengezi and others delayed voter registration in Kasai, an opposition stronghold, and meant that many voters were unable to register. 

and one for the North Korean updates:

Treasury Designates Two Shipping Companies for Attempted Evasion of North Korea Sanctions 

U.S. Government Updates North Korea Shipping Advisory

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced the designation of two shipping companies that have helped North Korea evade sanctions.  Today’s action highlights the deceptive methods that the North Korean regime uses to circumvent international and U.S. sanctions, as well as the U.S. Government’s commitment to implement existing UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.  Both companies are based in China.  In a related action, OFAC, along with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Coast Guard, is updating the North Korea shipping advisory and adding dozens of vessels that are believed to have engaged in ship-to-ship (STS) transfers with North Korean tankers or exported North Korean coal.

“The United States and our like-minded partners remain committed to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea and believe that the full implementation of North Korea-related UN Security Council resolutions is crucial to a successful outcome,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “Treasury will continue to enforce our sanctions, and we are making it explicitly clear that shipping companies employing deceptive tactics to mask illicit trade with North Korea expose themselves to great risk.”

OFAC designated Dalian Haibo International Freight Co. Ltd. (Dalian Haibo) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13722 for providing goods and services to or in support of the U.S.-designated Paeksol Trading Corporation (Paeksol).  Paeksol is also subordinate to the UN- and U.S.-designated Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB).  OFAC previously designated Paeksol for having sold, supplied, transferred, or purchased metal or coal from North Korea, where the revenue may have benefited the Government of North Korea or the Workers’ Party of Korea.  In early 2018, Dalian Haibo shipped cargo from Dalian, China to Paeksol in Nampo, North Korea, aboard DPRK-flagged vessels.

OFAC also designated Liaoning Danxing International Forwarding Co. Ltd. (Liaoning Danxing) pursuant to E.O. 13810 for operating in the transportation industry in North Korea.  Liaoning Danxing routinely used deceptive practices that enabled EU-based North Korean procurement officials to operate and purchase goods for the DPRK regime. 

This shipping advisory updates the February 23, 2018 advisory with new information about North Korea’s deceptive shipping practices, additional guidance on how to mitigate the risk of involvement in these practices, a new graphic depicting certain ports of call, and three new annexes, (1) guidance for member states and industry to avoid illicit North Korean maritime trade, (2) dozens of vessels that are believed to have engaged in ship-to-ship transfers with North Korean Tankers, and (3) dozens of vessels that may have exported North Korean coal since August 5, 2017.  As further detailed in the advisory, North Korea employs deceptive shipping practices such as disabling or manipulating automated identification systems, physically altering vessels, conducting (STS transfers, and falsifying cargo documentation.  Since initial publication in February 2018, North Korea has altered the geographic location of STS transfers and has resumed exports of coal in the Gulf of Tonkin.   

The following map shows the area where STS transfers of refined petroleum commonly occur:

North Korea Ship-to-Ship Transfer Areas

The following graphic shows ports of call before and after STS transfers of refined petroleum:

Ports Visited Before and After Ship-To-Ship Transfers

As a result of today’s action, any property or interests in property of the designated persons in the possession or control of U.S. persons or within or transiting the United States is blocked, and U.S. persons generally are prohibited from dealing with the designated persons. 

And the State Department issued one for the ISIL listing update:

Amendments to the Terrorist Designations of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

March 21, 2019


The Department of State has amended the terrorist designations of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to include Amaq News Agency, Al Hayat Media Center, and other aliases. These aliases have been added to ISIS’s designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Executive Order 13224. Additionally the Department of State has reviewed and maintained the FTO designation of ISIS.

Amaq News Agency and Al Hayat Media Center are two media wings of ISIS. Amaq News Agency is part of the terrorist organization’s propaganda apparatus, and is used for claiming responsibility for ISIS or ISIS-inspired attacks, spreading terrorist messages online, and recruitment. Al Hayat Media Center is ISIS’s multilingual media outlet and is also used for recruitment purposes.

Today’s actions notify the U.S. public and the international community that Amaq News Agency and Al Hayat Media Center are aliases of ISIS. Terrorism designations expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and deny them access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of the United States and other governments.

Links:

OFAC Notice

Updated DPRK Shipping Advisory

Treasury Press Releases: DRC, North Korea

State Department Press Release

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