Recent OFAC Designations: World-Check Ahead Again

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World-Check alerts clients to the financial, regulatory and reputational risks posed by designated individuals up to six years ahead of official sanctioning bodies.

World-Check, the leading global provider of risk intelligence has once again alerted clients to high risk individuals years ahead of their names appearing on a sanctions list. Recent OFAC designations include terrorism-related individuals as well as narcotics-related individuals and organizations. In both cases World-Check profiled the individuals between four and six years ahead.

The consequence of these OFAC designations is the freezing of any assets owned by the named individuals and organizations, and the prohibiting of all financial and commercial transactions by any U.S. person with the designated companies and individuals. "The World-Check database is unrivaled in its effectiveness as an early warning system for risk, as demonstrated by these examples" said David Leppan, CEO and founder of World-Check. "Our ability to alert clients to the financial, regulatory and reputational risks posed by these heightened risk individuals, up to six years ahead of official sanctioning bodies, confirms our status as the market leader in the provision of risk intelligence to the world's financial community."

Muhammad Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, two of four individuals added to OFAC's Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list on the 27th of May, are reported to hold leadership positions in Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), a Pakistan-based terrorist group with links to Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaida network. According to OFAC, Saeed is LeT's overall leader and chief, and plays a key role in LeT's operational and fundraising activities worldwide. Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi is reportedly LeT's chief of operations. In this capacity, Lakhvi is believed to have directed LeT paramilitary operations and terrorist activities in Chechnya, Bosnia, Iraq, and Southeast Asia.

Both Saeed and Lakhvi were profiled by World-Check's researchers in January and May 2002 respectively, six years ahead of the OFAC designations.

World-Check's Terrorism and Insurgency Research Unit (TIRU) monitors the world's terrorist and insurgent movements by collecting and analyzing open-source information in more than 32 critical languages on a 24/7 basis. "Our terrorism coverage goes well beyond the 917 terrorism-related entries listed by the four most authoritative sanctions lists, namely the EU, UN, HM Treasury and the US OFAC", said John Solomon, global head of TIRU. "The true financial backbone of terrorist movements lies in their support infrastructures and as of May 2008, World-Check has profiled more than 29,000 terrorism-related individuals and entities".

In addition, OFAC listed a number of individuals as Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficking Kingpins on the 30th of May. Two of the named individuals, Marcos Arturo Beltran Leyva and Hermagoras Gonzalez Polanco, were profiled by World-Check as far back as August and September 2004 respectively, four years ahead of OFAC. Beltran Leyva, sometimes referred to as El Barbas, is allegedly a high-ranking leader of the Beltran Leyva group operating for the Sinaloa cartel in Southern Mexico. The organization is reportedly responsible for narcotics operations from Colombia to the US, via Mexico. Polanco, sometimes referred to as Gordito Gonzales, is purportedly the leader of the Guajira narcotics cartel which operates in Colombia, Venezuela, Europe and the US.

About World-Check

World-Check provides its global database of heightened-risk individuals and businesses to more than 2,800 institutions in 155 countries, including 47 of the world's 50 largest financial institutions and hundreds of government agencies. The database is updated daily in real-time by World-Check's international research team and is derived from hundreds of thousands of public sources. World-Check offers market leading coverage on money launderers, fraudsters, terrorists, organised crime and sanctioned entities amongst others. In addition, World-Check tracks PEPs and their relationship networks plus individuals and businesses from many other categories. World-Check offers a downloadable database for the automated screening of an entire customer base, as well as a simple online service for quick customer screening. A 97-98% client renewal rate bears testimony to the unparalleled depth, reliability and coverage of this database.


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Marion Willson
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